Mad Men star Jay R. Ferguson has signed on to a new television project loosely based on the life of gay activist and author Dan Savage, according to Deadline. The family-focused ABC comedy is a hard left from his role as Stan Rizzo, art director for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It means a new direction for Savage as well, who has gained a cult following as an American gay activist, author, media pundit, and journalist.
Savage’s MTV talk show, syndicated column (which you can read every Wednesday here at The A.V. Club), and Savage Lovecast cover topics like the importance of escorts and cuckolding—ideas that seem unlikely to show up in primetime on ABC. Instead, this single-camera pilot—scripted by David Windsor and Casey Johnson, who both wrote for Don’t Trust The B— In Apartment 23 and Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place—asks more generally what happens to the seemingly perfect all-American family when the youngest son comes out of the closet. Family secrets are revealed, of course, and we’re likely to learn, once again, that the “typical” American family is anything but.
The new Dan Savage pilot throws some love at The Windy City, too, joining the slew of shows past and present set in the Land of Lincoln (Chicago Code, Chicago Fire, Shameless, The Good Wife, Happy Endings, etc.). Deadline says that Ferguson will play the family’s good-natured patriarch, Pat O’Neal, who works as an affable cop with the Chicago Police Department.