Happy Together, the new series starring Damon Wayans, Jr., will premiere this fall on CBS August 6, 2018..
(photo credit: COURTESY CBS)
Take a British couple living in London who happen to be observant Jews. Add in a world-famous pop star who decides to bunk down in their attic and get away from it all.
It sounds like a movie, but it's actually a real-life story. And now, it's becoming a sitcom. Sort of.
Happy Together, the new series starring Damon Wayans, Jr., will premiere this fall on CBS. The show is executive produced by - among others - both Harry Styles, the former One Direction member and teen heartthrob, and Ben Winston, the producer and religious Jew who accidentally housed Styles for a year and a half.
"I was making a film with One Direction and I'd just moved into my very quiet house in London... and a young man who I was working with, by the name of Harry Styles
, asked me if he could live in our attic for a few weeks," Winston recalled during a panel discussion on Sunday alongside the cast of the show at the 2018 Television Critics Association in Los Angeles.
Winston, who was raised in an observant home in London and attended Jewish day school, agreed to let Styles stay with him and his wife - and a few weeks turned into 18 months. And by the time the international pop star finally moved out, it was hard for the couple to let go.
Winston told the audience that "what happened with Harry and I is just the concept. But fundamentally what you're looking at is a mid-thirties couple who feel like their life is maybe getting a bit stale, a bit boring... the show's about marriage, it's about getting a bit older, it's about youthfulness; it's about something happening in your life that you didn't expect to happen and how you deal with that."
While the sitcom is inspired by Winston's life, the show takes it in a slightly different direction, Wayans plays Jake, an accountant to young pop star Cooper James, played by Felix Mallard. James - and Mallard - are Australian, while everyone else is American, and the couple are Christians, not Jews.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post
last year, Winston, who now lives in Los Angeles and serves as the executive producer on "The Late Late Show" with James Corden, looked back fondly at the time Styles crashed with them.
"I don't think I have an attic anymore," Winston said of his new home in California. "It's just me, my wife, my daughter and dog now."
Since the band broke up in 2016, Winston doesn't see as much of all the members, "but I'm so proud of all the work they're doing, it's phenomenal to see how well they're all doing apart."
CBS said the sitcom features a "happily married couple who begin to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when a young pop star drawn to their super ordinary suburban life unexpectedly moves in with them."
The show's star, Wayans, said at the panel discussion on Sunday that "these are all fictional characters... the scenario is from real life but it's all about relationships and these people growing."
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