Ed Asner, Marion Ross here for pilot taping at MBC

Ed Asner plays curmudgeonly father

This weekend, TV icons Ed Asner and Marion Ross will star in an evolving TV sitcom, “I’ve Got a Life in Kalamazoo,” along with Vicki Lewis (“News Radio”) and Gregory Jbara (“Blue Bloods”)—award-winners all, being taped before a live audience at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Producers are the multi-honored producing partners Teresa L. Thome and Patrick Ziegler of Fubble Entertainment, also possessors of many industry honors.  Loglined as “Everybody Loves Raymond” meets “Will & Grace,” “Kalamazoo is based on Thome’s one-woman show, “Warm Cheese.  

Co-star Marion RossThe half-hour pilot features Nilah Hoyer (Lewis), a small town singer/performer trying to elevate her career in the midst of a mid-life crisis.  Her plans to move to Chicago with her easy-going husband (Jbara) at the urging of her best friend (Ziegler), go awry when Nilah must remain in Kalamazoo to care for her aging parents, lovable, politically incorrect father Bob (Asner) and her domineering, hypochondriac mother (Ross).

Director is Danny Salles (“Joan and Melissa”).

MBC dedicated to helping developing radio, TV shows

So what brings the show to Chicago instead of, say, Kalamazoo, Ziegler was asked.  “We decided on Chicago because part of the sitcom takes place here.  Our production company goal is to continue to produce in Michigan as we have been but also in the Chicago area as well.” 

Ziegler and Thome have a residence here as well as one in their home town of Grand Rapids, commuting between the two cities.

“We also thought the museum would be a great place for the performance,” Ziegler continues. “They’re looking at our show as a launching pad for future entertainment projects where the museum can be helpful; projects that are worth shopping or developing.”

Indeed, MBC’s founder/president Bruce DuMont was delighted to support “Kalamazoo”   by opening all the amenities of the museum for the weekend performances in front of a live audience.  “We want to reach out and help people, especially young people, with their rising careers,” he says.

Patrick Ziegler, writer/producer/actorAlthough Thome and Ziegler are seasoned entertainment professionals, their “A Life in Kalamazoo” fits the “developing show” model that the MBC will assist in bringing to life, perhaps as the next broadcast or cable hit. 

During its April 13-14 performances at MBC, “Kalamazoo” will be taped, edited and packaged for presentation to networks, through the producers’ L.A. reps.

The staged reading of the pilot and a second episode of the show take place Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m. in  MBC’s third floor exhibition space  Preferred ticket holders will meet the cast after the show.  Click here.