HBO Plans Strange Family Drama CHINA DOLL and Mike O’Malley Lines Up PRODIGY/BULLY at Fox

     October 17, 2011


With Big Love all wrapped up at HBO, the creators are poised to start work on another series at the cable network about an even more unconventional family. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer are working on a new series called China Doll about a mixed-race family that has a humanoid robot living with them. It almost sounds like it could be a new series from Seth MacFarlane, but Olsen says, ““It is about China, Chinese Americans, robots, the effect of technology on our lives and the China moment in American consciousness.” The latter element refers to China’s positioning as an even bigger economic power that is influencing the relationship between our two countries. More specifically the series follows a successful California construction subcontractor, his Asian American wife, a university professor, and a robot, as they are straddling both sides of the Pacific with extended families on two continents. Obviously it’s more of a family drama than a sci-fi show, but the presence of a robot just seems strange.

Details on a new series from Glee and Yes, Dear star Mike O’Malley after the jump.

Fox already has actor Mike O’Malley comfortable with his recurring role on Glee, but now he’s setting up a project of his own on the network. Deadline has word that O’Malley has written a new comedy called Prodigy/Bully based on the one-minute shorts of the same name by Hank Perlman.  The show will focus on a young boy genius who uses both his brains and his brawn to get anything he wants.  John Wells (of Shameless and ER) is executive producing, and this is actually the second time he and Warner Bros. TV have attempted to adapt the internet shorts into a series after trying once for the 2005-2006 season.  Perlman will direct the pilot, but since the videos’ star Josh Fitter is now five years older, he likely won’t star in this new iteration.  The question is whether there will be room for two boy geniuses on Fox with the animated Allen Gregory hitting the network later this month. Of course, we’ll have to see if the Jonah Hill led series even gets a full season order, and Prodigy/Bully makes it to air next season.

Here’s a taste of the shorts inspiring the new comedy.

Mike O'Malley