We’ve got some “pretty cool” news for fans of Vanessa Bayer. Showtime on Monday handed a series order to I Love This for You (fka Big Deal), a half-hour comedy co-created and headlined by the Saturday Night Live alumna.
The single-camera series — which has been in development since 2018 — is inspired by Bayer’s own story of overcoming childhood leukemia. It centers on Bayer’s Joanna Gold, “who dreams of becoming a host at a home-shopping channel,” according to the official logline. “Working to shed her life-long label as ‘that cancer girl,’ she moves away from her parents, starts a budding romance for the first time in her adult life, and forms a meaningful friendship with her idol — network star Jackie Stilton (fellow SNL veteran Molly Shannon, pictured right) — all against the backdrop of a highly competitive workplace run by an unstable billionaire, where people play dirty to succeed.”
Rounding out the ensemble are Paul James (Soundtrack) as Jordan, a charming but dry stage manager; Ayden Mayeri (Homecoming) as Beth Ann, an ambitious-yet-insecure host; Matthew Rogers (Haute Dog) as Darcy, the ingratiating right-hand man to the CEO; and Punam Patel (Special) as Beena, an offbeat backstage producer. Meanwhile, a source tells TVLine that Cybill Shepherd, who was originally cast as network CEO Patricia Kunken, has exited the project. Her role will be recast.
Bayer executive-produces ILTFY alongside co-creator Jeremy Beiler (SNL, Inside Amy Schumer, I Think You Should Leave) and Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Wet Hot American Summer). Jessi Klein (Inside Amy Schumer, Dead to Me, Transparent) serves as showrunner.
”I’m so thrilled to be making this show with Showtime and that all of my hours of home shopping as a kid are finally paying off!” Bayer said in a statement. “It’s been an absolute dream, and my co-creator Jeremy Beiler and I are so grateful to the entire creative team we feel so lucky to work with.”
Added co-president of Showtime Jana Winograde: “Vanessa Bayer channels her beloved personality into an underdog part that is both close to her heart and universally relatable. Combined with the immense talents of executive producers Jeremy Beiler, Jessi Klein and Michael Showalter and a tremendous cast, Vanessa’s comedic brilliance as a performer, co-creator and executive producer have yielded an offbeat, emotional and laugh-out-loud series that we can’t wait to bring to our Showtime audiences.”
In addition to her seven years on SNL, Bayer’s TV credits include Drunk History, Love, Single Parents and Will & Grace. Most recently, she recurred on Season 7 of NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, where she was reunited with former SNL co-star Andy Samberg.