Billy Crystal is returning to primetime series television for the first time since he co-starred on Soap in the 1970s and 1980s. FX has ordered 13 episodes of The Comedians, a sitcom to star Crystal and Josh Gad. The new show is expected to debut in 2015.
BILLY CRYSTAL RETURNS TO SERIES TELEVISION IN FX’S THE COMEDIANS
Network Orders 13 Episodes of Half-Hour Comedy Starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad
From Executive Producers/Writers Larry Charles, Matt Nix, Ben Wexler and Billy Crystal
Produced by Fox Television Studios
Production Will Begin This Year and Air on FX in 2015
LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2014 – FX has ordered 13 episodes of the comedy series The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions.
In The Comedians, Crystal plays a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with Gad (Frozen, The Book of Mormon), an edgier up-and-coming star, in an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at a late night sketch comedy show where egos and generations collide. Rounding out the cast are series regulars Stephanie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson.
Nick Grad said, “We’re incredibly excited about The Comedians and the fact that Billy Crystal will be making his return to series television on FX. The chemistry between Billy and Josh is amazing, and Larry, Matt, Ben and Billy did a fantastic job of making what is certain to become one of the best comedies on TV.”
The Comedians marks the Emmy Award winning Crystal’s first regular starring role in a TV series since his performance as “Jodie Dallas” in the groundbreaking ABC comedy Soap, which ran from 1977-81.
Larry Charles (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld), Matt Nix (Burn Notice), and Ben Wexler (Community, Arrested Development) are Writers and Executive Producers of the project, along with Crystal. Charles directed the pilot. Josh Gad is serving as Producer. The half-hour, single-camera comedy is produced by Fox Television Studios. Production will begin this year and the series will air on FX in 2015.
Added Fox Television Studios President David Madden, “If comedy is timing, we were wildly fortunate to land this material at a time when two true comedy superstars were open to doing a series. With the combination of Billy and Josh, and the comic writing/directing gifts of Larry, Ben and Matt, all we needed to do was to get out of their way.”
The Comedians is based on a Swedish format of the same title from Stockholm-based Efti AB, whose Carl Molinder and John Nordling also executive produce. Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin also serve as Executive Producers, with Kristen Campo serving as Co-Executive Producer, via their production company Fabrik Entertainment (Burn Notice, The Killing), which is also producing the project.
In addition to The Comedians, FX recently ordered two new comedies, Married starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, and You’re the Worst starring Aya Cash and Chris Geere, both premiering this summer. In 2014, FX Networks will air ten original comedy series across two of its three channels, FX and FXX. FX televises the Emmy®, AFI, TCA and Peabody award-winning Louie, which is the most critically-acclaimed comedy on American television, and the acclaimed animated comedies Archer and Chozen, Married, and You’re the Worst. The FXX comedy roster includes the acclaimed hit series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The League, Wilfred, Legit, and Ali G: Rezurection.
FX Networks has been very active in comedy development and production. FX Networks has six comedy pilots in various stages of production for either FX or FXX. They include Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll created by and starring Denis Leary; the untitled Zach Galifianakis project created by and starring Galifianakis, and produced by Galifianakis and Louis C.K.; The Comedians, from Larry Charles, Matt Nix, Ben Wexler and Billy Crystal, which stars Billy Crystal and Josh Gad; Do or Die starring Tracy Morgan; How and Why created by Charlie Kaufman and starring John Hawkes, Michael Cera and Sally Hawkins; Man Seeking Woman from Simon Rich and starring Jay Baruchel; and the animated comedy series Bigfoot from Seth Rogen and produced by Rogen and Adam Reed and Matt Thompson.
FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable channel of FX Networks, a business unit of Fox Networks Group. FX Networks is comprised of FX, FXM and FXX, its newest channel, which debuted on September 2, 2013. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 97 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series, including Sons Of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans and The Bridge; the upcoming dramas Tyrant (June ’14) and The Strain (July ’14); the miniseries American Horror Story; the upcoming miniseries Fargo (4/15/14); the acclaimed hit comedy series Louie and Archer; the new animated comedy Chozen; and scripted comedies Married and You’re The Worst both launching in summer of ’14. The network’s library of acquired box-office hit movies is unmatched by any ad-supported television network. FX’s roster of acquired hit series includes Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly.
About Fox Television Studios
Fox Television Studios produces scripted and unscripted programming for US broadcast and cable networks, and international broadcasters. Series include the breakout hit The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, for FX; the hit shows Burn Notice and White Collar, both for USA, as well as USA’s upcoming Graceland (premiering June 6), and new series Sirens; the Emmy-nominated The Killing, returning to AMC for a third season June 2; The Glades, premiering its fourth season on A&E May 27; as well as Maron, a fictionalized look at the life of comedian and podcast host Marc Maron, for IFC. The studio also is producing the pilots Rita, starring Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) for Bravo, and Line of Sight for AMC. FTVS also produces alternative programming, including the series Life Flight, currently in production for TNT.
What do you think? Does this sound like a comedy that you’d like to watch?