‘Special’ Creator-Star Ryan O’Connell Signs With CAA

EXCLUSIVE: Writers Guild Award winner and Primetime Emmy nominee Ryan O’Connell has signed with CAA for representation in all areas.

O’Connell is best known as the creator, writer, executive producer and star of Netflix short-form series, Special. Debuting on the streaming service in April of 2019, the comedy is loosely based on O’Connell’s upbringing and experience as a gay man navigating the world with cerebral palsy. Earning a total of four Emmy nominations in its first season, the series also brought O’Connell GLAAD’s Special Recognition Award and a Visibility Award from LGBTQ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign.

Set to return in May for its highly anticipated second (and final) season, Special is executive produced by Jim Parsons and his That’s Wonderful Productions banner. Thus far, O’Connell and That’s Wonderful have also teamed up on Accessible, a half-hour series in development at HBO Max, which is set at a boarding school for disabled teens.

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Previously serving on the writing staffs of NBC’s Will & Grace revival, MTV’s Awkward, and Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club, O’Connell is also the author of two books, including I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. Described as “part-memoir, part-manifesto,” I’m Special was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015, to critical acclaim. O’Connell’s forthcoming debut novel, Just By Looking at Him, will be published in the Spring of 2022 by Simon & Schuster imprint, Atria. A feature adaptation of the latter title, from FilmNation Entertainment and Berlanti Productions, is also planned, with O’Connell set to write and star.

Outside of TV, O’Connell has also served as the editor of Thought Catalog, and has contributed to numerous other publications, including Vice and Buzzfeed.

The multi-hyphenate continues to be represented by manager Clifford Murray at Management 360; attorneys Kim Jaime and Michael Auerbach at Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein; and publishing agent Kent Wolf at Neon Literary.

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