Shawn Ryan, creator of fX program “The Shield” says he plans to set his next series in Pittsburgh. Ryan describes it as a single-camera sitcom about five people living in Pittsburgh trying to find satisfaction in their lives by creating a get-rich-quick scheme. The show, produced for Fox, would be called “Millionaire’s Club”.
Someone should tell Ryan that the last time a sitcom set in Pittsburgh was made for Fox, it bombed. 2007’s “Back To You,” starring Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer, was cancelled after a single and rocky season. So why would Pittsburgh be the optimum choice? “Because Pittsburgh to me is the big-city equivalent of the town I grew up in, Rockford, Illinois,” Ryan told Rob Owen in a recent phone interview. “They’re both towns that in the past, I think, represented a lot of what was great about America; Rockford with tool and die and Pittsburgh with steel production. In many ways the country has abandoned places like that.” Ryan has been to Pittsburgh in the past to visit relatives and is familiar with the city.
A single-camera approach would make it easier to shoot the sitcom in the city, but that probably won’t happen – unless a conversation between Fox and the Pittsburgh Film Office will change that by touting the tax benefits of filming here.
But the question remains, “the guy who created ‘The Shield’ writing a sitcom?” Ryan went to Hollywood after a play he wrote in college won the 1989 Columbia Pictures Television Comedy Playwrighting Award. His first credit was “story by” on the 1980s sitcom “My Two Dads” starring Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan.