WASHINGTON • The most unusual executive producer on a new autumn television show? Harry Styles.
Yes, that Harry Styles. The 24-year-old breakout star of boyband One Direction. Even CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl clarified on a conference call last Wednesday morning that it was "the singer".
The sitcom, called Happy Together, stars Damon Wayans Jr and Amber Stevens West as a 30something, happily married suburban couple whose lives are upended when a young pop star (Australian actor Felix Mallard) unexpectedly moves into their house.
It is based on Styles' real-life living situation. In the first year of One Direction, as the group members were going from X Factor contestants to international sensations, Styles crashed with his friend Ben Winston, who lived in the suburbs of London with his wife.
Winston, an executive producer on CBS' Late Late Show With James Corden, will also executive-produce Happy Together.
The show will air on Mondays after The Neighbourhood, starring Cedric the Entertainer in a comedy about a Mid-western fellow (Max Greenfield of New Girl) who moves to a historically black neighbourhood in Los Angeles.
Both sitcoms are followed by a remake of Magnum PI, starring Jay Hernandez as a former Navy Seal who uses his military skills to become a private investigator.
All three new shows also star actors of colour as the leads - notable for CBS, which has been called out the last two years for a lack of diversity on its prime-time schedule unveiled during Upfront Week, an annual TV advertising sales season.
Other new series include a revival of Murphy Brown, with Candice Bergen reprising her role as the broadcast news star.
Asked about the fate of long-running smash The Big Bang Theory, which is rumoured to be approaching its final season, Mr Kahl said "we are hopeful there may be more", adding that it is up to co-creator Chuck Lorre.
"As long as Chuck and his team... have stories to tell, we'll take it for as long as they want," he said.