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Television

Carol Burnett returning to TV? New project in the works with Amy Poehler

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett, photographed in Pasadena in January, may return to television in a sitcom or special produced by Amy Poehler.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Fans grateful that they’ve had this time together with Carol Burnett may be overjoyed to learn of another chance to laugh at the legendary actress’ antics.

Burnett could return to television via a multi-camera sitcom at ABC, The Times confirmed Friday, although the project remains in the production stages. 

Comedic genius will be behind the scenes as well, with Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” “Saturday Night Live”) serving as a producer on the as-yet-unnamed project.

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In January, Poehler and Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live”) awarded Burnett the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

Deadline reported Thursday night that Burnett’s series has a put-pilot commitment from ABC, meaning that the network will have to air the pilot as a series or special, or face steep financial penalties.

Michael Saltzman will serve as writer and executive producer on the project.

Saltzman made his name on comedies such as “Murphy Brown” and “Wings” before moving on to more dramatic fare with AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Halt and Catch Fire.” He told Deadline that there was a specific reason he was returning to comedy. 

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That reason? Carol Burnett.

“The very first meeting I had when I was trying to break into television as a writer was with Carol, who was exactly the same person in real life as she was on TV,” Saltzman said. 

Saltzman recalled that Burnett presented a check with no contract or conditions. “Her only instruction was to write anything — a play, a musical, a TV show, a movie, a poem. It didn’t matter,” he said. “She just wanted to give someone she believed in their start.”

Saltzman went on to note that he’d always wanted to return the favor to Burnett but never found the opportunity, until now.

libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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