Showtime announced at the 2016 Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour orders for three new comedy pilots, including White Famous, Mating and SMILF.
The network has cast actor and comedian Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live) in the lead role for the new pilot White Famous, a half-hour comedy executive produced by Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos (Californication). Tim Story, the prolific director who helmed the movie franchises Barbershop, Fantastic Four, Ride Along and Think Like A Man, has joined the project as an executive producer and showrunner and will direct the pilot. White Famous will be written by Kapinos, based on an idea by Jamie Foxx, who will guest star in a recurring role. A co-production between Lionsgate Television and Showtime, the project will focus on a talented, young African-American comedian, Floyd Mooney (Pharoah), whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross-over towards becoming “white famous.”
They’ve also ordered the half-hour comedy project entitled Mating (working title), executive produced by Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), and written and executive produced by Stu Zicherman (The Affair, The Americans). Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live) has been cast in the lead role. The comedy anthology pilot will center on a recently divorced guy who married young and now finds himself completely unprepared for the brave new, frank and fluid world of dating and hooking up. The project, produced by Showtime, Universal TV and True Jack Productions, is an “annual anthology” as each season will focus on a different protagonist’s journey through modern dating and relationships. Michelle Lee will also serve as an executive producer.
And Showtime has ordered a new comedy pilot based on Frankie Shaw’s Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film SMILF. She will star, write, produce and direct the semi-autobiographical pilot, with Oscar nominee Michael London (Sideways), and Emmy nominees Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office, Bad Teacher) executive producing. Set in Boston, SMILF will take a raw look at a single, 20-something whose desires for relationships, sex, and a career collide with the realities of young, single motherhood. The pilot will be produced by ABC Signature as a co-production with Showtime.