Rosie O’Donnell Joins Showtime’s Comedy Pilot ‘SMILF’

Denise Petski
Deadline

Rosie O’Donnell has joined the cast of Showtime’s comedy pilot SMILF. Frankie Shaw writes, directs and stars in the project, which is based on her film that won the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance last year. Alex Brightman (School of Rock), newcomer Kyle Vincent Terry and Graham Rogers (Quantico) also have signed on as guest stars.

Set in Boston, SMILF takes a raw look at Bridgette, a single twentysomething (Shaw), whose desires for relationships, sex and a career collide with the realities of being a young single mother. O’Donnell will play Tutu, Bridgette’s mother, who is unapologetically herself and completely oblivious to social convention. Despite her troubled upbringing in the projects of Southie, she shows up for her daughter and grandson as best as she possibly can — which isn’t always up to Bridgette’s standards. O’Donnell will have a regular role if the project is picked up to series.

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Brightman will guest star as Jesse, who went to high school with Bridgette and always has carried a torch for her. He reconnects with her and jumps at having a second chance with her. Terry is Ben, who flirts with Bridgette at a public basketball court — and there’s some genuine chemistry between them. Rogers plays David, an eager film student who won a competition to direct a PSA. They all join previously announced cast Samara Weaving and Ismael Cruz Cordova.

ABC Signature Studios is producing.

Multiple Emmy winner O’Donnell most recently recurred as foster care mentor Rita Hendricks on Freeform’s The Fosters and appeared on the CBS comedy Mom. She is repped by WME and 3 Arts. Brightman is repped by UTA and Brookside Management. Terry is with Gersh and Authentic. Rogers is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

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