Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) is set to star in the lead role and executive produce the Showtime comedy pilot “Trending Down.” Acclaimed actress Kathryn Hahn (Revolutionary Road) will also star in the pilot as Lee Payne, Thom Payne’s (Hoffman) wife.
“Trending Down” is a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture, and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter. Or matter not. The project centers on Thom Payne, a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over. The pilot is set to begin filming on the East Coast this fall, and marks the third pilot pick-up from the Network this year.
“We are taking a markedly unconventional approach to process and content – a cross between the BBC series model and a theater workshop. And a meth lab,” said Auslander. “I wasn’t particularly interested in doing TV, and fortunately, neither was Phil. When Showtime said they weren’t either, we knew we had something. We don’t know what that is, but at least we know what it isn’t.”
On his birthday, Thom Payne gets the gift of insignificance and also a new boss. He suspects his ED pills are interfering with his anti-depressants, leaving him with neither happiness nor… happiness. In a culture that reveres youth – a culture he helped create – Thom needs to figure out what his purpose is now that he’s halfway to death and nobody cares what he thinks. Because in a world where any Kardashian is trending up, perhaps the wise among us would heartily embrace trending down.
Created, written and executive produced by author and This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander, “Trending Down” was developed by Ken Kwapis, who will executive produce, and Alexandra Beattie, who will co-executive produce, under their In Cahoots banner. John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and The Angry Inch) will direct the pilot. Hoffman and producing partner Emily Ziff will also executive produce under their Cooper’s Town Productions banner.
(Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo / Brian To / WENN.com)