Culture shock is all but assured once someone decides to escape the hustle and bustle of a huge metropolis like New York City for a humdrum place like, say, Riverside, Iowa (which just happens to be where STAR TREK’s legendary captain James T. Kirk will be born on March 22, 2228).

If that someone is a once-successful Broadway star whose career failures lead her to start over in the small town she once called home, then that culture shock is amplified to its funniest degree in the upcoming “fish out of water” comedy series CADY DID. Co-created by Monday Morning Productions’ Jason Cicci (creator and co-star of HE’S WITH ME), CADY DID will premiere soon on a platform to be announced.

Co-created by and starring Cady Huffman (Tony winner, THE PRODUCERS; 2019 Indie Series Awards Best Actress In A Drama nominee for AFTER FOREVER), CADY DID spotlights the talented Huffman in one of the funniest roles she’s ever played: herself! While she has memorably played “herself” alongside comic icon Larry David on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, Huffman’s fictional persona in CADY DID is that of an actress whose career takes a calamitous hit when a humiliating audition video of her goes viral.

Moving back to her old hometown, the make-believe municipality of Hackettsville, Cady reunites with her mother Marion (Joyce Van Patten). Upon her return to Hackettsville, Cady soon accepts the only job she can find – operating Hackettsville’s public access TV station with the timid Betty Ann Samson (Tony nominee Veanne Cox, COMPANY).

L-R: CADY DID star/co-creator Cady Huffman and series co-creator Jason Cicci.

L-R: CADY DID star/co-creator Cady Huffman and series co-creator Jason Cicci.

As Cady tries to rebuild her career and life, she experiences memorable brushes with colorful “local yokels”. These personalities include town farmer Ambrose (Adam Lefevre, MAMMA MIA!, PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT), the frequently combative brothers Willis (Todd Alan Crain) and Orrin (Tony winner James Iglehart, ALADDIN) and Everett (played by Olli Haaskivi), Hackettsville’s most prominent movie critic.

Fondly dubbed by Cicci and Huffman as “the lovechild of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and GREEN ACRES”, CADY DID was born following their first collaboration on HE’S WITH ME.

After Huffman’s memorable role on that series won her the Indie Series Award, she posed a fascinating question to her fellow collaborator.

Remembers Cicci: “When she asked what kind of character I might write for her to play in a series, her natural warmth and magnetism inspired an idea: she should play herself, albeit a fictionalized version, for comedic effect.”

Huffman details how she and Cicci envisioned a humorous “what if” situation for her CADY DID character. “For me, we mostly sort of tried to imagine how my life would have gone had I chosen a different path; if I had chosen just to indulge my vanity, my party girl side. We just took older experiences and brought them into my middle age years. We just tried to imagine the very different aches and pains that come by refusing to grow up in your middle age. This is a really fun and funny show with lots of different people and very diverse cast.”

In pre-production, Cicci and Huffman worked together to develop the key ingredients of CADY DID’s comedy. “Cady and I had numerous talks about her life, and which aspects might be best to exaggerate,” recalls Cicci. “Her personality became bigger, her successes became more epic in scope and her disappointments became catastrophes. I knew that I wanted to create a ‘fish out of water’ show where her brassiness would comedically play against local yokels in a small town. From there, the storyline about her taking over a public access channel was born.”

While Huffman works her magic through her on-screen performance, Cicci does the same by penning CADY DID’s scripts. Given that Huffman’s real life is a huge source for many of the show’s storylines, her contributions to the writing process are crucial. “I get to wander around and suggest funny things and say, ‘this happened to me.’ Whenever I’m with Jason and I’m telling any kind of stories, I just see his little writer brain making note of it. He does the real work and I just get to tell stories and suggest what I think is funny,” Huffman replies.

L-R: CADY DID co-stars Huffman, Joyce Van Patten and show co-creator Jason Cicci.

L-R: CADY DID co-stars Huffman, Joyce Van Patten and show co-creator Jason Cicci.

Along with Cicci and longtime friend/series costume designer Christopher Lawrence (RAY DONOVAN), Huffman also singles out her accomplished supporting cast for praise.

“The actors we are inviting to come along are so enthusiastic to bring themselves to it,” she says. “It’s all those subtle nuances with the people you trust around you, that just keep adding layer upon layer upon layer. I just think we’ve invited a very cool group to come together and create.”

Creation always begins with a singular idea that comes from a single person, but collaboration is the combination of multiple ideas from multiple people. For Cicci, a major part of that collaboration is the input and creativity of his cast. “Though every episode is scripted, we’re looking forward to giving our cast the opportunity to delve into their characters and improvise, too,” he remarks.

As CADY DID represents Cicci’s second series project (following HE’S WITH ME), the style of its humor contrasts with that of his first show. “I would say that the tone of CADY DID is certainly more comedically broad than HE’S WITH ME, which was a more simply cerebral comedy about how men handle their lives,” says Cicci.

However, both shows have one important thing in common: deep-rooted authenticity. “Even though it (CADY DID) is drawn a bit bigger, there is still a grounded reality to it, as with most everything I write,” Cicci replies. “My personal preference for comedy is always when it comes from a real place, even if that place is a kooky town full of misfits.”

Cicci feels that the authenticity of CADY DID’s female characters adds to its uniqueness. “There are certainly a lot of ‘girls behaving badly’ series and films out at the moment. I love that we’re seeing funny women getting into precarious situations, but I’d say that our intention to keep things ‘real’ might set CADY DID apart from the hoard, (along with) showing (how) ‘women of a certain age’ reinvent themselves, stay vitally involved in life and continue to take chances.”

L-R: CADY DID co-star Veanne Cox, Cicci and Huffman.

L-R: CADY DID co-star Veanne Cox, Cicci and Huffman.

While GREEN ACRES and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM are the most apparent inspirations for CADY DID, viewers will notice how this new series tackles some familiar comedic tropes.

“There’s an Andy Griffith vibe too, because it’s such a small town,” adds Huffman. “There is a little SCHITT’S CREEK in there, certainly with the fish out of water (element). There’s a little bit of the element of all those great Christopher Guest movies (THIS IS SPINAL TAP, BEST IN SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN).”

CADY DID is determined to give viewers something to laugh about, while emphasizing how laughter can ease the pain of our most embarrassing moments. “Learn to love yourself so that you can just love everyone else more, and laugh at yourself,” Huffman counsels. “Make (the journey of life) mean something to yourself, and love everybody you encounter along the way.”

Even though Huffman’s character in CADY DID has a considerable yet comical struggle to face, people enduring their own difficulties can learn much from watching hers. “Life is to be taken with a sense of humor,” Cicci says. “We’ve all had setbacks whether personally, professionally, or, in Cady’s situation, both. How we dig ourselves out of it and maintain a bit of dignity (Cady may only salvage a bit of dignity [in CADY DID]) is the challenge.”

NOTE: Cicci says that CADY DID will be closed-captioned and subtitled, should the series’ production budget allow for those features to be added for each episode.