The Comeback Girl, a limited series about comedian Joan Rivers starring WandaVision’s Kathryn Hahn, is no longer moving forward at Showtime.
The Comeback Girl, a limited series about legendary comedian Joan Rivers, is no longer moving forward at Showtime. Kathryn Hahn had been tapped to star. Rivers, who passed away in 2014, was a groundbreaking and at times controversial figure in show business. The Comeback Girl was set to take place in the late 1980s when, following her short-lived role as host of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers in 1986, Rivers faced personal challenges and a professional abyss. That period of Rivers’ life coincided with the death by suicide of her husband Edgar Rosenberg.
Unfortunately, The Comeback Girl has been cancelled at Showtime, Variety reports. Producers on the project had failed to secure Rivers’ life rights, which are held by her daughter, Melissa Rivers. Lacking the estate’s authorization, The Comeback Girl would be unable to feature Rivers’ jokes or catchphrases. Furthermore, the limited series would have to go around the wishes of the comedian’s daughter. Instead, the network isn’t banking on the series without the estate’s approval.
The Comeback Girl was set to be executive produced by Hahn, director Greg Berlanti, and writer Cosmo Carlton, with development moving forward at Showtime. Prior to the series’ cancellation, there was already backlash to the project. Casting a non-Jewish Hahn as Rivers was a point of contention, with comedian Sarah Silverman speaking out against the Hollywood habit. She pointed to a number of other examples, including Rachel Brosnahan—whose character is based loosely on Rivers—in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsberg in On the Basis of Sex.
With The Comeback Girl a no-go at Showtime, Hahn’s docket is only slightly less full. The actress is set to appear alongside Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd in The Shrink Next Door, as part of Knives Out 2’s impressive ensemble cast, and as Agatha Harkness in the upcoming WandaVision spin-off series. Unless the producers can sort out the rights issues, it would seem that The Comeback Girl isn’t going anywhere.
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