Showtime is expected to announce during their TCA session on Tuesday that Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in and executive produce Trending Down, a comedy pilot, which is getting a green light after a long development process. Kathryn Hahn is expected to co-star in the pilot, which will be directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and The Angry Inch). Developed by Ken Kwapis and created by This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander, Trending Down is a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture, and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter. Or matter not. It centers on Thom Payne (Hoffman), a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over. Hahn will play Thom’s wife. Hoffman, Kwapis, Auslander and Hoffman’s producing partner Emily Ziff will executive produce. Alexandra Beattie will co-executive produce. Trending Down marks the third pilot pickup at Showtime this year. It is the first comedy pilot, joining dramas The Vatican and The Affair. The network also gave straight-to-series order to Penny Dreadful earlier this year.
‘Trending Down’ Nears Pilot Green Light At Showtime With Philip Seymour Hoffman & Kathryn Hahn Starring
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
TCA: NBC Renews Overall Deal With Greg Daniels, Signs Pacts With Gary Sanchez Prods, Sean Hayes & More From Exec Panel
In his executive session this morning at TCA in Beverly Hills, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, addressing the idea that NBC wants to raise its stakes in the scripted comedy business, admitted only half-jokingly that introducing a new comedy in any time slot in today’s TV landscape is like “standing in the middle of the 405.” And at TCA, NBC’s new comedy Free Agents, based on the British series, was the first to merge onto the freeway in a late-morning panel.
The Wednesday night show, described by the network as a “crooked romantic comedy” from creator John Enbom and director-producer Todd Holland, stars Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as two corporate PR executives — read damage control experts — whose own personal lives are more of a mess than the people they represent. Hahn’s character drinks too much to cover her pain over the death of her fiance. Azaria’s character is a divorced dad who apparently is as outspokenly miserable as Ray Romano’s character in TNT’s recently cancelled dramedy Men of a Certain Age. In the series, the two grapple with the aftermath of an unexpected romantic tryst.
Fox is still high on Kathryn Hahn, signing a new development/talent holding deal with the former Crossing Jordan co-star. Under the pact, the network is actively developing shows for her, primarily comedies. Fox first signed Hahn in a talent holding deal in 2008. Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who ran NBC during the second part of Crossing Jordan’s run, was a fan,