EXCLUSIVE: Denis Leary (Rescue Me, Animal Kingdom) is set to star in A Moody Christmas, Fox’s half-hour single-camera holiday event series, an adaptation of the Australian series of the same name, to air in December. The series hails from CBS TV Studios, which will co-produce with Fox Entertainment.
Written by comedy veterans Bob Fisher, Rob Greenberg and Tad Quill, the six-episode A Moody Christmas centers on the Moodys, including Sean Sr., his wife, their three grown children and an assorted mix of extended family members who gather for the holidays, with each packing his/her own eccentricities and complications.
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In his return to broadcast TV, Leary will play Sean Sr., the beloved patriarch of the tight-knit but slightly dysfunctional family of five, all of whom return home to Chicago for the holidays, hiding secrets from one another – as if the holidays weren’t stressful enough!
“We have always wanted to work with Denis, whose signature gruffness, sarcasm and, dare I say it, heart make him the perfect fit for this role,” said Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment at Fox Entertainment. “The Moody family nails that indescribable mix of love, loyalty and absolute chaos, and we can’t wait to introduce our viewers to them all this holiday season.”
Fox is envisioning this as an ongoing event series franchise with multiple installments featuring the same core cast. “It begins at Christmas but isn’t just limited to Christmas,” Thorn told Deadline earlier this year. “We will meet this family, the Moodys, at very important events throughout their lifecycle that a family experiences together.” Those could include a family wedding, a family vacation, a funeral and a graduation.
Fisher, Greenberg and Quill executive produce A Moody Christmas with Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum of The Tannenbaum Co. as well as Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, creators of the original series, and Jason Burrows — all three from Jungleboys FTV Pty Limited, the production company behind the Australian series.
Leary headlined the underrated 2001 ABC comedy series The Job, which he also co-created with Peter Tolan. He went on to work in cable for the past two decades. Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Leary is the creator/star of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which aired for two seasons on FX. He also is the co-creator/star of FX’s Rescue Me and recently recurred as Billy on TNT’s Animal Kingdom.
Leary is known for his self-deprecating sense of humor, which is on display in his official bio: “Denis Leary is a five-time loser at the Emmy Awards. And the Golden Globes. He hopes to one day also lose an Oscar, a Grammy and a Tony. In his long and storied entertainment career Leary has also never won the Stanley Cup, the Nobel Peace Prize or an argument with his wife. He looks forward to playing Kellyanne Conway in the President Trump biopic.”