Production has been halted on the Showtime limited series The Comeback Girl after it was revealed that the show’s producers failed to secure Joan Rivers’ life rights, currently held by her daughter Melissa Rivers. (via Variety)
The Comeback Girl was set to be produced by Warner Bros. Television, Atlas Entertainment, and Berlanti Productions with Kathryn Hahn as executive producer in addition to portraying Rivers in the leading role. Cosmo Carlson had been brought on to helm the script for the series with Greg Berlanti as director as well as executive producer.
The show intended to home in on the events following the cancellation of The Late Show, the late comedian and actor’s late-night talk show which ran on Fox from 1986 through 1987. The short-lived run on the network ended with both Rivers and her husband Edgar Rosenberg –– Melissa’s father –– being fired from their respective positions, her as host and him as producer. Rosenberg committed suicide that following August.
Without access to Rivers’ life rights, the show could go on, but it would be barred from incorporating the more specific identifiers of her person, including the catchphrases and well-known quotes that have come to define her.