Wilfred director/executive producer Randall Einhorn, who helmed the pilot for the quirky FX comedy series, has signed on to direct another FX comedy pilot, Death Pact, starring Tracy Morgan. From writer-creators Rob Long and Tad Safran and producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Death Pact has Morgan playing a formerly lazy, pot-dealing assistant high school coach who returns to his hometown as a decorated war hero. He runs across three down-on-their-luck friends and former students and sucks them into his new radical self-help philosophy, which involves harsh consequences for failure. The pilot, produced by FX Prods, will film this summer in New York or New Jersey. Randall’s duties on Wilfred and Death Pact stem from an overall deal he has with FX Prods.
EXCLUSIVE: After his scene-stealing turn on 30 Rock, the NBC series’ co-star Tracy Morgan is toplining his own single-camera comedy project, this time on cable. FX has given a pilot order to Death Pact, from writer-creators Rob Long (Cheers) and Tad Safran (The Long Weekend) and producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. In Death Pact, Morgan stars as a formerly lazy, pot-dealing assistant high school coach who returns to his hometown as a decorated war hero. He runs across three down-on-their-luck friends and former students and sucks them into his new radical self-help philosophy, which involves harsh consequences for failure. The pilot, produced by FX Prods, will film this summer in New York or New Jersey. “Needless to say anything starring Tracy Morgan could be off-the-charts hilarious and we’re betting this one is,” said FX’s EVP Original Programming Nick Grad. “Rob Long, Tad Safran, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum have delivered a terrific starring vehicle for Tracy. We look forward to casting the other three co-stars and getting started with production. This is going to be fun.”
The edgy FX should be a suitable home for Morgan’s sensibility, as showcased in his not-always politically correct stand-up. At the cable network, he would join other stand-up comedians including most notably Louis CK. Since 30 Rock ended its run in January, Morgan has been focusing on his stand-up with his international Excuse My French tour. Before his seven-season stint on 30 Rock, which earned him an Emmy nomination, Morgan spent seven years on Saturday Night Live. FX Networks is ramping up comedy development and production as the company is preparing for the launch comedy-focused channel FXX, which will join flagship FX.
UPDATE, 3:39 PM: Tracy Morgan has been released from Park City Medical Center after last night’s incident. He took to his Twitter feed today to explain: “The high altitude in Utah shook up this kid …
After a carefully worded statement on Friday, 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan today did another mea culpa for his homophobic remarks during a stand-up show in Nashville, this time in his own words. In an interview with Russell Simmons, Morgan apologized profusely for his jokes, which included mocking gay kids for being bullied and threatening to kill his son if he turned out to be gay, and called his statements “indefensible.” Here are highlights of what he said:
“I am so unfiltered. And sometimes as a result I say really stupid shit. The truth is if I had a gay son, I would love him just as much as if he was straight … I might have to try to love even more because I know of the difficulty that he would have in society.”
“Of all the sicknesses, there is probably none more abusive than homophobia. My heart is committed to giving everyone the same rights that I deserve for myself. I don’t care if you love the same sex as long as you have the ability to love someone. Also, you should have the right no matter who you are to protect and serve our country. I am deeply sorry for the comments I made. What I am most sad about is the comments I made about kids and bullying. I would never want any young person to think that I wasn’t on their side and if any young person thinks they can bully a young gay kid, come see me at 30 Rock. On the corner, I would be happy to meet you. Or Brooklyn if you can’t make it into Manhattan.”
At the same time the firestorm stemming from Tracy Morgan’s homophobic remarks was raging on Friday, the 30 Rock co-star received a top award at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. Morgan was named best actor in a comedy series …
Tracy Morgan Comes Under Fire For Anti-Gay Rant
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, the first openly gay topper of a broadcast network, and 30 Rock creator/executive producer/star Tina Fey just issued statements in response to homophobic remarks by 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan at his stand-up show in Nashville last Saturday. The rant, in which Morgan said, among other things that “if his son told him that was gay he … would pull out a knife and stab that little n***** to death,” has created a media firestorm, with gay-rights groups demanding an apology. Morgan issued one earlier today. Greenblatt’s statement indicates that reps for the network have spoken with the actor and “we made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated”, so Morgan will continue on 30 Rock:
Bob Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment:
I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance. We will always recognize an artist’s freedom to express him or herself, but not when reckless things are said no matter what the context. Unfortunately, Tracy’s comments reflect negatively on both 30 Rock and NBC — two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations -– and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
Tina Fey, Executive Producer, 30 Rock
I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. Stand-up comics may have the right to “work out” their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community.
Five years after Michael Richards’ infamous racist tirade at the Laugh Factory, another famous comedian, 30 Rock‘s Tracy Morgan, is coming under fire over a rant during a stand-up performance, this time berating gay people. No video of the flap has surfaced yet, but a Facebook account by Kevin Rogers, an attendee at the Nashville show on Saturday, has gone viral. “I have very thick skin when it comes to humor; I can dish and I can take,” Rogers wrote. “What I can’t take is when Mr. Morgan took it upon himself to mention about how he feels all this gay s**t was crazy and that women are a gift from God and that ‘Born this Way’ is bulls**t, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because ‘God don’t make no mistakes.’ ” Things escalated from there. “He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little f**kers that bully them, not whine about it. He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death. … Tracy then said he didn’t fucking care if he pissed off some gays, because if they can take a f—ing dick up their ass … they can take a fucking joke.”
The remarks have created a firestorm, prompting Morgan to issue an apology this morning.
Syfy has renewed comedic hidden camera reality series Scare Tactics for a fifth season. Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) will return as host and executive producer for the 13-episode order. Season 5 of Scare Tactics, created and executive produced by Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey, begins production this spring for …