Jim Parsons in 'The Big Bang Theory.' (Warner Bros. Television/File)
Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons is teaming up with Netflix for a comedy series called Special, based on the semi-autobiographical book I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.
“I can totally see this being a sitcom,” reads one of Amazon’s top user reviews for Ryan O’Connell’s part-memoir, part-manifesto I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.
Now it really is on the way to TV, with an April 12 debut scheduled for the eight-episode Netflix comedy, courtesy of Jim Parsons’ production company.
The original book tells Ryan’s story of growing up gay with the movement disorder cerebral palsy and trying, failing, and eventually succeeding in making it as a writer.
O’Connell himself has the lead role, his first credited TV acting job after story and writing contributions to Awkward, Daytime Divas and the Will & Grace revival.
“It shows just how specific the experience is, but also how universal the struggles of growing up gay and disabled were,” he told the BUILD Series in 2015.
Due to the relatively mild nature of his cerebral palsy, O’Donnell was able to persuade everyone in his adult life that he walked with a limp because of a car accident; in his experience, it was more difficult to come out as disabled than it was as gay.
“You may not have drooled on someone during art class in fourth grade, but something equally as humiliating might have happened!”
Joining O’Donnell on the series cast list are Jessica Hecht (Breaking Bad and Friends), Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul, Saved by the Bell: The College Years), Augustus Prew (Prison Break Season 5, Pure Genius), Marla Mindelle (2011’s Tony-nominated Sister Act musical) and Punam Patel (Netflix’s upcoming McG project Rim of the World).