Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Mike O’Malley, writer/co-executive producer of Fox’s half-hour comedy pilot Prodigy Bully, is taking on another role on the project, this time in front of the camera. The actor, who originally was attached only as a writer-producer, has closed a deal to co-star in the project executive produced by John Wells. Based on the Prodigy Bully one-minute movies by Hank Perlman, the Warner Bros./John Wells Prods. comedy centers on a young boy genius who uses his brains and brawn to get whatever he wants. O’Malley will play the boy’s father. With the casting, O’Malley could potentially be on 2 Fox series next season — he is also recurring on the network’s dramedy Glee, which is expected to be renewed. The move is reminiscent of that on the NBC comedy 1600 Penn, where co-creator Josh Gad also was only attached as a co-writer/executive producer but ultimately agreed to co-star, sealing the project’s pilot pickup. Prodigy Bully and 1600 Penn join 3 other comedy pilots this season, which star their writers/co-writers: Roseanne’s Downwardly Mobile at NBC, Sarah Silverman’s untitled NBC project and Mindy Kaling’s medical comedy at Fox. This extends a trend that started last season when a whopping 4 series headlined by actors who wrote them made it on the schedule: NBC’s Whitney and BFFs, CBS’ How To Be A Gentleman and ABC’s Man Up!

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.