Back in January, Showtime ordered a new comedy pilot starring Philip Seymour Hoffman called Happyish centered on a man named Thom Payne who “is struggling with his new bosses being half his age and is having to choose between his antidepressants and his ED pills.” While the pilot’s future had been uncertain following Hoffman’s death a month later, the network revealed today that Steve Coogan has been officially cast in the role. Here’s the updated description for the pilot:
Coogan will star in the lead role of Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like “digital,” “social” and “viral.” Is he in need of a “rebranding,” as his mentor insists, or does he just have a “low joy ceiling,” as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect.
“Steve’s range is astounding – he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands,” said Happyish creator/writer Shalom Auslander, who will executive produce the pilot alongside Ken Kwapis and Alexandra Beattie. The Happyish pilot will film in New York this December.