EXCLUSIVE: Two top Warner Bros syndication personalities, Ellen DeGeneres and Judge Greg Mathis, are teaming for a scripted comedy inspired by Mathis’ life. Produced by Warner Bros TV and DeGeneres’ studio-based A Very Good Production, the project, a multi-camera comedy, has sold to Fox with a script commitment. Written by brothers Todd Jones and Earl Richey Jones (Johnson Family Vacation), the untitled comedy centers on a hoodlum-turned-judge who has total control of his courtroom — and no control at home raising his four kids. As a teenager, Detroit native Mathis was a gang member who ended up in jail. When given an early probation after his single mother was diagnosed with cancer, he turned his life around, went to college and became a judge. He is married with four kids. Mathis, DeGeneres, Todd and Earl Richey Jones are executive producing the project with A Very Good Production’s Jeff Kleeman. This marks the Jones’ return to Fox where they started their career on In Living Color. Over the past few years, there has been a dearth of African American family comedies on broadcast television, former home of such popular sitcoms as The Cosby Show, My Wife And Kids and Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show. The genre has done better on cable, mostly via Tyler Perry. This marks A Very Good Prods’ second sale this season. The ICM Partners-repped company also has Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday, Maybe at the CW.
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