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Allison Janney & Tony Shalhoub To Star In Greg Daniels’ NBC Pilot ‘Friday Night Dinner’

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 1:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Emmy winners Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub are finalizing deals to star in Greg Daniels’ NBC comedy pilot Friday Night Dinner. The single-camera project, based on the British format, centers on a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night. Janney will play Barbara and Shalhoub will play Gene, the matriarch and patriarch of the family. On the British series the roles are played by Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter. Daniels is executive producing the pilot with Howard Klein and the original series’ creator Robert Popper and producer Big Talk TV. The casting brings together Janney, four-time Emmy winner for The West Wing; Shalhoub, 3-time Emmy winner for Monk; and Greg Daniels, five-time Emmy winner for SNL, The Simpsons, King Of The Hill and The Office. WME-repped Janney is coming off an ensemble SAG Award win for The Help. ICM-repped Shalhoub co-stars in the upcoming HBO movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.

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David Koechner Inks NBC Talent Deal, Eyes Greg Daniels’ ‘Friday Night Dinner’ & ‘Office’

By | Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 5:42pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Actor-comedian David Koechner has signed a talent holding deal with NBC. Under the pact, he is attached to star in Greg Daniels’ comedy project Friday Night Dinner and possibly do more episodes of The Office, where he has appeared occasionally since the second season. The deal expands Koechner’s relationship with The Office showrunner Daniels.

Like The Office, Friday Night Dinner also is based on a UK series. The original,  created by Robert Popper and airing on Channel 4, is about a traditional but not strictly observant Jewish family and chronicles their Shabbat dinners. It centers on brothers Adam and Jonny who  reluctantly visit their parents — mom Jackie, who is obsessed with Masterchef, and dad Martin, who loves to walk around shirtless — for a home-cooked meal. Adding to the gallery of oddball characters is a grandmother who struts her stuff in a bikini and eccentric neighbor Jim who constantly interrupts dinner. Daniels originally explored a role as supervisor/executive producer on the project and met with a number of writers but ultimately decided to write the adaptation himself. While he was still writing the script, NBC put the project on a fast track, getting a casting director to explore casting choices and looking at directors.

As for The Office, it was unclear whether, with Michael Scott gone from Dunder Mifflin, his obnoxious BFF Todd Packer, played by Koechner, would return. I hear that now is a strong … Read More »

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