Perfect Strangers, the ’80s and early ’90s ABC comedy that made Cousin Balki a pop culture sensation is making a comeback at HBO Max with Robin Thede and London Hughes set to star.
The multicamera comedy, which is for now in the development stages, turns around perfect strangers Deja (Thede) and Poppy (Hughes), who unexpectedly find that they are half-sisters when they both receive a one-bedroom apartment above a trap yoga studio in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Polar opposites must learn how to live and work together.
Thede will write the script and exec produce the comedy with Robert L. Boyett, who served in the same capacity on the original show’s eight-season run. The new Perfect Strangers hails from Warner Bros. Television, where Thede and her For Better or Words banner is based with an overall deal.
Perfect Strangers, created by Dale McRaven, centered on Midwesterner Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) and his cousin, Balki (Bronson Pinchot), who moves in with him after moving from the small (and fictional) Mediterranean island of Mypos. The series ran for 8 seasons and 150 episodes and anchored ABC’s original TGIF programming block. It was produced by Miller/Boyett Productions (Happy Days, Full House, Mork & Mindy) and Lorimar Television, the latter of which was ultimately acquired by Warners Bros.
Reboots have become more common in the TV era as streamers and networks alike look for titles with built-in awareness that help cut through the clutter while also scoring value to the original series on streaming service.
Thede created, exec produces, writes, stars in, and serves as showrunner of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, which was recently renewed for a third season. The series received three Emmy nominations last year. In addition to Sketch Show, Thede is writing the feature Fashionably Black for HBO Max and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society. She’s also penning Amazon’s zombie action-comedy Killing It. She’s repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.
Hughes is a British comedian and writer whose credits involve writing and starring in Laughter Shock for BBC. She also released a comedy special To Catch a D*ck last year on Netflix and appeared in the streamer’s History of Swear Words. She’s with UTA, Curtis Brown in the U.K., Haven Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham.