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Amy Poehler-Created, Natasha Lyonne-Starring Series Gets Rita Moreno

Cautiously Optimistic

Remember when we told you that Amy Poehler had gotten a network interested in two things that are often hard sells to executives: a majority elderly cast and female protagonists, and that the show would involve Orange is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne? Well, now Rita Moreno is attached, and it’s going to be hard to top that.

Old Soul, greenlit by NBC for pilot production only three days after its script was delivered, concerns the interactions of a “reformed wild child” “trying to find herself (Lyonne) with the clients of her elder care business. As you might have guessed, Moreno will be playing one of those clients, a “sexy old gal and a ball of joy… a flamboyant, larger-than-life Broadway vet who has been happily married to her writing partner/husband for over 50 years.”

So, basically, herself, right down to the character’s name, Rita. Moreno was recently awarded the Screen Actor’s Guild’s Lifetime achievement award, an occasion that produced this interview where she talks candidly about her at the time much unexpected Oscar win for West Side Story and what refusing to be typecast because of her race meant for the career of a Puerto Rican actress in the 1950s.

Between Moreno, Poehler, Lyonne, a co-creator producer team whose resumes include Scrubs and Psych, and director David Wain, this shaping up to be a pilot that I would be hard pressed to refuse. Then again, I’m not an NBC executive, and we’re a long way from actual pilot filming and network decision-making. Fingers crossed!

(top pic credit to Lucy Nicholson/Reuters, story via The Jane Dough.)

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