Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show successor just got an official premiere date. THR reports that The Late Late Show with James Corden will premiere on the network on Monday, March 9th. The show will tape at the CBS Television City lot in Los Angeles, and the network has also signed on British writer/producer/director Ben Winston — who currently works as executive producer on the British X Factor — as Late Late Show showrunner. "We're excited to begin CBS's next chapter after midnight and introduce James' wide range of performance talents and fearless creative instincts to American television viewers," CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said in a statement. "He and Ben have been friends for a long time and partnered together on a variety of successful projects. They are a creatively dynamic and very energetic host/producer combination." No word yet on when CBS's other late night successor Stephen Colbert will take over for Letterman when he leaves sometime next year.
UPDATE: The Wrap reports that CBS will invite a group of rotating hosts to take over Late Late Show between the time Craig Ferguson leaves on December 19th and Corden takes over in March. No potential guests hosts have been revealed yet, but the idea has certainly worked out for the network in the past.
Over the summer it was announced that FX passed on Charlie Kaufman's comedy pilot starring Michael Cera and John Hawkes, but now Kaufman has a new project in the works with a big comedy star. Deadline reports that Kaufman has signed on to rewrite the film adaptation for IQ 83 based on Arthur Herzog's 1978 science fiction novel about a virus outbreak that lowers humanity's IQs, and Steve Carell is attached to star. Here's a description of the book via Coming Soon:
You are Dr. James Healey and last week you were a genius. That was before the DNA experiments. Before the accident you said could never happen… Since then you have felt your mind decaying a little more each day. You have watched your wife slip into imbecility. You have seen the crowds growing murderous with animal terror, the President of the United States babbling and drooling on TV… Only one thing separates you from them. You, at least, know what is happening as you search for the cure for the horror you have unleashed upon the world—as each day the dimming of your mind lowers your chance of finding it!
The IQ 83 adaptation has been in the works for nearly 20 years, and though the book was written as "serious science fiction," the vision for the film is reportedly "to do a scathing satire, on the order of Doctor Strangelove." Considering that Carell has been delving into dramatic roles lately with Foxcatcher, a satirical sci-fi adaptation written by Charlie Kaufman sounds like a very interesting match.
H. Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman just opened up an online store. Called Flotsam General Store, the "post-structural online shopping experience" currently offers a small-sized "Mystery Sack" for $40 and free 6-8+ week shipping. What's in the sacks? According to the store's FAQ, "Flotsam sacks are stocked according to the principes of 'positive sourcing,' with three or more Flotsam products hand-conceived by the Flotsam Design Team." Benjamin said in an interview last month that the items included in each sack will be "products that will leave a legacy. Something to be proud of for time immemorial." Here's more information on Benjamin and Mirman's new business venture from the store's "About" page:
From a rocky perch, a figure stands watching the waves crash in eternal repetition. Is he looking for something or is he waiting for something he has already found? For a lifetime of looking, maybe nothing will come and for a lifetime of waiting, maybe nothing returns. Flotsam is dedicated to the principle that sometimes, what we seek can eventually find us. Our goal is to never know.
Flotsam offers three sacs of hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you. What you receive depends on what we choose for you in the moment. In this way, a symbiotic chain is created between producer and consumer. Our mission is to always build on that chain, until that chain enwraps all of us and we are thusly bound together, chained.
With a mission like that, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Flotsam store to buy your own sack today. "$40 is not a big consumer risk," Mirman says on the investment. Benjamin adds: "Look at Maurice McDonald, who started McDonald's. He had $40, and look what happened."
Here's a clip from Wyatt Cenac's visit to Conan from last night, where he reveals which big comedy star booked an upcoming show in Madison, Wisconsin not only the same night as his show, but in a theater across the street from where Cenac is scheduled to perform. Thankfully he already has experience competing with big name celebrities, which he describes in cringeworthy detail. Watch more from his interview below: READ MORE
News broke back in August that Mike Epps officially landed the role of Richard Pryor in the upcoming Lee Daniels-directed biopic, and during last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Epps looked back on landing the role and getting to spend a year with Pryor before he died. Watch more from his interview below: READ MORE
Funny or Die just released a brand new installment of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, this time featuring the very uninterested Brad Pitt. Pitt's interview has references to everything from his charity work to Benjamin Button to George Clooney, not to mention an extremely short standup performance by Louis C.K.
Fortune Feimster might be getting her own semi-autobiographical sitcom. THR reports that Feimster has teamed up with Tina Fey, Matt Hubbard, and Robert Carlock for a multi-cam comedy based on Feimster's life with a script commitment from ABC. The untitled series is set in Feimster's home state of North Carolina "and is based on her family life and standup comedy." Hubbard will write the script with Carlock, Fey, and David Miner onboard as producers. Feimster last teamed up with Fey, Carlock, and Hubbard for the Fox pilot Cabot College, which ultimately didn't get picked up by the network.
Here's a sneak peek from this Friday's episode of IFC's The Birthday Boys featuring executive producer Bob Odenkirk. It's the age-old classic tale — a loving Polish father named Stolof raises his seven sons to be successful hipster DJs, only to watch them all abandon his dream to pursue their own paths.
Back in January, Showtime ordered a new comedy pilot starring Philip Seymour Hoffman called Happyish centered on a man named Thom Payne who "is struggling with his new bosses being half his age and is having to choose between his antidepressants and his ED pills." While the pilot's future had been uncertain following Hoffman's death a month later, the network revealed today that Steve Coogan has been officially cast in the role. Here's the updated description for the pilot:
Coogan will star in the lead role of Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like “digital,” “social” and “viral.” Is he in need of a “rebranding,” as his mentor insists, or does he just have a “low joy ceiling,” as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect.
"Steve’s range is astounding – he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands," said Happyish creator/writer Shalom Auslander, who will executive produce the pilot alongside Ken Kwapis and Alexandra Beattie. The Happyish pilot will film in New York this December.
Nick Frost might be ABC's next comedy star. Deadline reports that the network has bought a single-cam comedy from Modern Family co-executive producer and Colbert Report co-creator Ben Karlin called The Finger, which will center on Frost as "Nick Ferguson aka The Finger, the world’s most famous jewel thief who wants to quit his life of crime, open up a humble sandwich shop and do right by his 9-year-old son — and all of that that is really hard to do." Karlin will executive produce the project with David Miner, who has also worked as an executive producer on 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
To promote his brand new book A Load of Hooey, Bob Odenkirk is going on a nationwide tour that will be split between readings/book signings and live comedy shows featuring opening act Brandon Wardell. Stops in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and New York will feature readings from the book as well as guest readings, sketches not included in the book, and "special yammerings." Click through for the full list of tour dates and information: READ MORE
The To Do List writer/director Maggie Carey just landed a script commitment from ABC. THR reports that Carey is developing a single-cam comedy for the network called The Big Hole, which will explore "the generational clash between an entitled millennial and her baby boomer boss at a failing PBS station in Big Hole, Montana." Carey will also serve as an executive producer on the project. For more on Carey, check out our interview with her from last year.
Welcome to The Second City Archives, in which we post an exclusive clip each week of some of comedy's biggest superstars performing early in their careers on the legendary Chicago stage. Second City has generously given us a glimpse into their extensive archive of live performances, and over the coming weeks we'll be sharing some rare and retro comedy never before seen on the web.
This week we're taking a break from highlighting comedic legends to unearth an old Second City clip you never knew you wanted — a 41-year-old Mel Gibson giving live improv a shot back in 1997. According to Second City, this performance took place during a later version of Paradigm Lost and included ensemble performers Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Rachel Hamilton, Kevin Dorff, Stephnie Weir, and Jim Zulevic. Braveheart hit theaters two years before this performance, so get ready for lots of Scottish accents and pretend drinking.
Not long after FX ordered a comedy pilot starring Bill Burr, the standup already has another series in the works over at Netflix. Deadline reports that the streaming network has greenlit a six-episode animated series created by Burr and Simpsons writer/producer Michael Price called F is for Family, which will center on "the Murphy family in the 1970’s, a time when you could smack your kid, smoke inside and bring a gun to the airport." Burr will voice the father role of Frank Murphy with Laura Dern and Justin Long voicing his wife and son. Burr will also serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Vince Vaughn, whose production company Wild West Television is behind the show. "F is for Family is the show I’ve always wanted to do," Burr said in a statement. "It captures all the characters of my childhood the way I remember it to be. Fortunately Mike Price and everyone at Wild West seem to know the same people I knew growing up. It’s going to be a lot of fun to tell these stories."