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Jim Parsons' 'Special': Release date, cast and everything else you need to know about Netflix series based on Ryan O'Connell's life

Disabled activist-actor O'Connell plays Ryan Kayes in the show based on his 2015 part-memoir, part-manifesto 'I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.'

'Big Bang Theory' star Jim Parsons is back to produce a new Netflix comedy series 'Special.' This will mark Parsons' first project with Netflix as a producer, although he has acted in the streaming service's 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,' alongside Zac Efron, which was a feature film based on serial killer Ted Bundy that Netflix picked up at Sundance.

Actor Jim Parsons of 'A Kid Like Jake' attends The IMDb Studio and The IMDb Show on Location at The Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2018 in Park City, Utah. (Source: IMDB)

A semi-autobiographical series, 'Special' follows writer and star Ryan O'Connell's experiences as a gay man traversing life with cerebral palsy. Netflix has signed eight episodes of the show. Here is all you need to know:

Release date: The wait is over for 'Young Sheldon' fans

The project that comes from Warner Bros. TV studio-affiliated Stage 13 and Parson's That's Wonderful Productions will premiere on April 12 -- the wait is coming to an end soon for 'Young Sheldon' fans. Parsons celebrated with an Instagram post after Netflix picked up the show, in which he cheered on O'Connell and viewers who will now get to see "how great Ryan is".


The show is directed and executive produced by 'Flight of the Conchords' and 'Insecure' veteran Anna Dokoza. 

Cast: Jessica Hecht and Punam Patel join Ryan Kayes' escapades

Ryan O'Connell will play Ryan Kayes in the show that's based on his part-memoir, part-manifesto 'I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.' O'Connell has worked as editor of Thought Catalog and has contributed to Vice, BuzzFeed and numerous other publications. He has written for television as well, and recently served as an executive story editor on NBC’s revival of 'Will & Grace'. He was also part of the writing staff on MTV’s 'Awkward'.


The show also features Jessica Hecht ('Friends,' 'Breaking Bad') as Ryan's mother, Karen Kayes and Punam Patel ('Adam Ruins Everything') as Kim Laghari, Ryan's friend and co-worker. Broadway actress and writer Marla Mindelle and actors Augustus Prew (Pure Genius) and Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) will also be seen on the show. 

Plot: An introverted millennial struggling to kick-start life

'Special' is loosely based on O'Connell's own experiences as a gay man with cerebral palsy who has to make it on his own in the big, bad world. In the show, his character decides to leave his mother and home to become a writer, finally going after the life he really wishes for. 


The fifteen-minute episodes follow Ryan's introverted millennial self growing up with cerebral palsy and then struggling to move out of his mother's home and start a career as a writer.

O’Connell’s 'I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves' was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 and was critically acclaimed. The show also sheds light on how life is starkly different for young adults coming of age in today's overconnected, overeducated and underemployed world, and reflects on the struggles of modern dating, job hunts and coming out of the closet.