Netflix Announces New Original Comedy Series Starring Legendary Actresses

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Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has announced a new original comedy series called Grace and Frankie that will star Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. According to a press release from Netflix, the Internet television network has already ordered thirteen half-hour episodes for the show’s first season that will debut next year. The show will be produced by Skydance Productions and is written and created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Kauffman is perhaps best-known as one of the creators of the highly successful sitcom Friends. Morris currently writes and produces the television show Sullivan & Son and has previously worked on the shows The Starter Wife and Home Improvement.

As described by Netflix, the show is about “nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) facing the last chapter of their lives, though not in the way they expected. When their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married, the women find their lives both turned upside down and to their dismay, permanently intertwined. Eventually, to their surprise, they find they have each other.”

Grace and Frankie will be the first project that Fonda and Tomlin have collaborated on since appearing together in the 1980 hit comedy film 9 to 5. Both actresses have garnered numerous awards for their work in film, television, and theater. Jane Fonda is a two-time Oscar winner, Emmy winner, and Tony Award nominee. Most recently, Fonda was nominated for an Emmy for her guest appearance on HBO’s The Newsroom. Oscar-nominated Tomlin has won two Tony Awards, two Peabody Awards, seven Emmy Awards, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

“Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are among the funniest and most formidable actresses ever and it’s an incredible privilege to give them the opportunity to run riot on Netflix,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a company press release. “The show created for them by Marta and Howard is warm, very funny and anything but wholesome. We can’t wait.”

Several of Netflix’s original programming shows have become major hits and have helped the digital video streaming company attract even more subscribers. According to the company’s latest earnings report, Netflix finished 2013 with 44 million subscribers.

Last month Netflix released the second season of its popular, critically-acclaimed political thriller series House of Cards. The prison comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black has also garnered positive reviews from critics and is scheduled to enter its second season this summer.

“Netflix is redefining the way we produce and consume television and it’s a true privilege to be in business with Ted and his amazing team,” said Skydance’s David Ellison via a press release. “Working with the wonderfully talented Marta, Jane, Lily, Howard and their producer Paula Weinstein is a dream come true, and the story they have crafted is both hilarious and heartfelt.”

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