Amazon has picked up the pilot episode of Good Morning St. Pete!, the web series written and directed by St. Petersburg acting teacher Andi Matheny.
The 30-minute comedy, shot locally, is available free to Amazon Prime subscribers.
Matheny stars as Los Angeles’ Stacy McAndrew, the former host of Who’s Your Boyfriend?, washed up in the Big Leagues and now across the country in lil’ old St. Petersburg, where she’s been hired to host the morning chat show at a low-rent TV station.
There’s a small live audience (“We have 10 chairs”) for Stacy’s first live broadcast, which features a sour-puss clown and a woman pitching organic laxative as guests.
Her first day on the job does not go well at all.
Matheny relocated to the bay area in 2010, after a decade hosting talk shows in Los Angeles. “I really enjoyed it,” she says, “And if my life had gone in that direction, I would have been very happy.
“But that was definitely the inspiration for the web series. Some of the things you see in the series actually happened in some shape or another. I won’t say which ones, but you can use your imagination.”
Good Morning St. Pete! plays out like a real-time episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, with one mishap compounding another. It is, from start to finish, riotously funny.
It won Best Web Series at the 2018 Sunscreen Film Festival; and Matheny was named Best Actress at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival.
The TV station in her show, she insists, is purely fictitious.
“The idea of St. Pete is just the fact that it’s not one of the top three major markets in the United States. The snobbery is that, unless you’re in New York or Los Angeles, or maybe Chicago, you really are in the podunks.
“Of course, having left Los Angeles and now living in St. Pete and loving it, I don’t feel that way! It’s just the overall perception.”
She is in talks with several production companies about shooting additional episodes.