Splitsider

 

UCB's Neil Casey Hired as a Writer at 'SNL'

Neil Casey, one of the best, if not the best, improvisor in New York right now, just got hired to be a writer at SNL. He'll be joining fellow UCB NY'er Josh Patten there, although he'll be writing sketches while Josh is writing for Weekend Update.

You may recognize Neil from a number of web videos, including current Above Average series "Belle and Bernice: Livin' in the City":

Jake Lacy Is Joining 'The Office' and Other People Were Cast in Other Roles

- After being replaced by T.J. Miller on The Goodwin Games, Jake Lacy has been added as a series regular to The Office. He is the second young new hire, after Clark Duke, that seems like a good fit for the rumored reboot.

- Aasif Mandvi is going to co-star in the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson comedy The Internship (aka "Workplace Crashers") as the man in charge of the internship that Vaughn and Wilson are a part of.

- In other Daily Show correspondent castings, Dan Bakkedahl will play a rival DEA agent in the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy buddy copy film, The Heat.

- [...]

Etan Cohen Is the Man Who Will Make 'Ghostbusters 3' the Critical Darling and Box-Office Megahit We Know It Must Be

Joining new Community showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port on the shortlist of comedy writers taking high-profile jobs that have them facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles right off the bat is Men in Black 3/Tropic Thunder screenwriter Etan Cohen, who's been hired to take over writing duties on Ghostbusters 3 from Office writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. Maybe he will be able to crack this uncrackable nut, crafting the perfect script that gets Bill Murray on board, lives up to the original, and satisfies even the most internet-inflamed fanboy. Or it'll be another few years of rumors and infighting that'll result in either a cancelled project or a [...]

'Portlandia,' 'Whitney,' and 'Up All Night' All Get New Executive Producers and/or Showrunners

It's new job time! Over at Portlandia, Bill Oakley has been promoted to co-Executive Producer (and they start writing season three next week!). Whitney just got a new showrunner in Friends' Wil Calhoun (old showrunner Betsy Thomas is heading to NBC's Guys With Kids), while Up All Night will now be helmed by Everybody Loves Raymond's Tucker Cawley. What TV comedy did you become showrunner of today?

Bill Lawrence Stepping Down as 'Cougar Town' Showrunner When it Moves to TBS

Cougar Town was saved from the clutches of cancellation at ABC by TBS, who picked the show up for a ten-episode season on basic cable. But a network home isn't all its losing — show creator and showrunner Bill Lawrence is set to step down when production ramps up for the new season. He'll still be involved somewhat, as he's said to plan on being "actively involved in the creative direction of the show," but as for a big kahuna, it'll be someone else. It's not clear who yet, but I'm sure whoever it is will be perfectly able and very comfortable with writing about drinking lots of [...]

UCB's Josh Patten Hired as a Writer at 'SNL'

Josh Patten, UCB mainstay and recent focus of our Follow Friday feature, was just hired as a Weekend Update writer at SNL. If you've been following him on Twitter, this should not be a great surprise to you: the guy is a monster of a joke writer. Presumably more hires will be coming in the very near future, both in the writers room and in the cast, as the new season is set to premiere on September 15th — the wheels are definitely in motion. In any case, congrats to Josh!

Some TV Casting Things

Harvard Sailing Club's Chris Smith has been cast as the lead in the new CBS single-cam pilot, Ex-Men. He'll play a young dude who is taken under the wing of a bunch of old dudes. Chris recently co-starred in CBS's last single-cam pilot, Nick Stoller's failed Entry Level. Ex-Men was created by How I Met Your Mother executive producer Rob Greenberg.

Speaking of How I Met Your Mother, Kat Foster is joining the cast of Goodwin Games, the new FOX sitcom from HIMYM's creators. She will be playing Lucina, the attractive minister at the Goodwin's church, who Scott Foley's character once dumped. She is replacing Felisha Terrell, who was originally cast [...]

'Community's' Russo Brothers to Bring Their Paintball Experience to Directing 'Captain America 2'

With The Avengers making more money in a few weeks than the net worth of most small countries, its only natural that Marvel and Disney are preparing to do a bunch more movies about the band of sassy superheroes. One of the next movies will be Captain America 2, and they're looking to an unexpected duo to direct it: Anthony and Joe Russo, better known for their work on Community and Happy Endings than for their aptitude with superhero blockbusters.

But man, how awesome is that? The studio had a lot of luck going with Joss Whedon, another unorthodox choice, with The Avengers, so it looks like they're [...]

Joe Mande to Write for 'Parks & Recreation'

At around 2:00pm today, Joe Mande announced via Tweet (check it out below) that he was hired as a writer on Parks & Recreation and he'll be moving to LA. This is big news for Joe, who has been a fixture of the New York comedy scene for years. When Mande was on WTF in January 2011, Maron speculated that writing was the natural path for him. He has since written on this season of Delocated and the yet to debut The Nick Show Kroll. The position will reunite Mande with his former college sketch group teammate Harris Wittels, who has been writing on Parks since the second season. Joining Megan [...]

'30 Rock's' Kay Cannon to Write For 'New Girl,' Develop Her Own Show

The wonderful Kay Cannon, a writer at 30 Rock who we interviewed a while back, has just signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television that'll point her in the direction of launching her own show. She'll be leaving 30 Rock after this season to go over to write for New Girl, and while there she'll simultaneously develop a new show of her own. Cannon also wrote Pitch Perfect, a comedy about college a capella groups starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Christopher Mintz-Plasse due to come out later this year. So, you know, keep an eye on this one.

Dan Harmon Is Writing a Pilot for CBS Too

Look at Dan-Har go. After making a deal to write a pilot script for Fox last week, Dan Harmon has agreed to write a different script for CBS. CBS? Yep, CBS. Like with Fox, the CBS script will be for multi-camera. Deadline is also reporting that he is currently at Just For Laughs looking for a comedian to possibly base a show around because he prefers to write with talent in mind. This also suggests that we're not going to see either of these shows anytime soon. It appears that Harmon got these deals off of his previous work, not off a new idea, so he has [...]

Jason Bateman in Talks to Act, Spell, and Make His Directorial Debut

Jason Bateman is in talks to direct and star in the indie comedy Bad Words, a film about a Jason Bateman-aged fellow who enters into a children's spelling bee and befriends a young Indian contestant and a female reporter. This would be Bateman's first film in the director's chair. He did, however, direct the "Afternoon Delight" episode of Arrested Development and the episode of Family Matters in which Steve invents a fat compressing machine to help his Aunt Oona impress a hunky reverend. This would also likely be Bateman's first spelling bee, considering as a child actor he probably missed out on all common human kid things.

Ben Schwartz To Run Alongside Timberlake and Affleck; Talk Alongside Oswalt and Schaal

Ben Schwartz has been cast in the upcoming drama Runner, Runner. Set in the world of online gambling, Justin Timberlake plays a totally realistic looking online poker player who becomes the protégé and then enemy of an off-shore gaming CEO (Ben Affleck). Schwartz plays Timberlake's friend, which would make Tom Haverford obscenely jealous. He was also named as one of the leads in a new animated pilot called Working Class Hero, which co-stars Patton Oswalt. Things are going so well for Schwartz, I doubt he'll have to get run over by a Lexus anytime soon.

'The Office' Brings in New Executive Producers to Help and Possibly Reboot the Show

With the departure of showrunner Paul "Toby" Lieberstein, Dan Sterling and Brent Forrester have been brought in to help run The Office's office. Both Sterling and Forrester have the type of top-notch pedigree that you'd expect Greg Daniels to hire. Both worked with Daniels on King of the Hill. In addition, Sterling helped run The Sarah Silverman Program, co-created this year's failed pilot for Sarah, and actually co-wrote an upcoming episode of Girls. Forrester started on The Ben Stiller Show, and then worked on The Simpsons, Mr. Show, and Undeclared, before serving as a consulting producer for The Office. No word yet on who will act as [...]