Comedy Central has signed up-and-coming comedians Adam Nee and Ryan Judd to develop, write, direct and star in a half-hour project. Titled Geniuses, it is based on a spec pilot Nee and Judd did last year and took to the cable network. It centers on two hapless friends, Johnny (Nee) and Sterling (Judd), who have been blissfully skating through life from job to job and vying for their neighbor Margot’s attention. Realizing that life may be passing them by, they decide to grow up and become responsible adults. Armed with their own naiveté and little knowledge about how the real world works, Johnny and Sterling set out on their misguided adventures to impress Margot and achieve grown-up success. Nee and Judd have been getting attention for their Funny or Die web series Clark Kent Has a Dream. Below is the latest, fourth webisode — featuring Criminal Mindsco-star Matthew Gray Gubler as Green Lantern — which has just been posted:
Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner and Helen Mirren starred in this mock trailer for the When Harry Met Sally sequel, which premiered on Funny Or Die. Pretty witty stuff and more evidence that despite all her accolades and regal standing, Mirren is game for anything.
In what would be his first major comedy series gig, Dawson’s Creek alum James Van Der Beek is set to co-star in the ABC/20th TV comedy pilot Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23. The Nahnatchka Khan/Dave Hemingson project, to be directed by Modern Family‘s Jason Winer, centers on June (Dreama Walker), an earnest, honest, optimistic girl from the heartland who is forced to move in with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a sexy, unstable New York City party girl who has the morals of a pirate. Van Der Beek will play Chloe’s best friend James Van Der Beek, a heightened version of himself in the vein of Neil Patrick Harris’ stint in the Harold & Kumar movies and Matt LaBlanc’s starring role on the Showtime comedy Episodes. The role, originally named after and eyed for former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass, is being completely rewritten for Van Der Beek.
Van Der Beek has always been sought after during pilot season for drama projects. But, following his viral videos for FunnyOrDie.com, for the first time this season, he fielded all comedy offers. On TV, Van Der Beek, repped by Paradigm and Brillstein Entertainment, most recently co-stared on the NBC medical drama Mercy. He also did a memorable guest spot on the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother as Robin’s ex. Here is one of the Van Der Beek’s FunnyOrDie videos, in which he pokes fun at his character on Dawson’s.
Everyone has been wondering where the next big reality format idea would come from. Funny or Die video is throwing its hat into the ring, generating a lot of buzz in the unscripted marketplace with a viral video starring singer Jewel.
Titled Undercover Karaoke with Jewel, it was posted on the comedy site on Wednesday and generated 2.5 million views in its first 3 days. It features Jewel disguised as a mousy-looking, mild-mannered businesswoman who has a Susan Boyle moment when she performs some of her signature songs to a dumbfounded audience at a local karaoke bar. I hear the Funny or Die team, including the video’s creator Eric Appel, are out there with a concept for a reality show based on the hit video, which would feature music stars from the past 4 decades going undercover to places where comedic situations will ensue, showcasing their talent. There has been a lot of interest in the idea and I hear it is being pitched to a number of networks this week. But I hear that the video has also spurred a slew of other pitches, with the networks getting a lot of calls in the past few days from producers shopping similar ideas. CBS has had success in the past year with reality projects about well-known people going undercover: its hit freshman series Undercover Boss and series of specials I Get That A Lot.