FX has ordered 13 episodes of the comedy series The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions.
In The Comedians, Crystal plays a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with Gad (Frozen, The Book of Mormon), an edgier up-and-coming star, in an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at a late night sketch comedy show where egos and generations collide. Rounding out the cast are series regulars Stephnie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson.
Nick Grad had this to say in a statement.
"We're incredibly excited about The Comedians and the fact that Billy Crystal will be making his return to series television on FX. The chemistry between Billy and Josh is amazing, and Larry, Matt, Ben and Billy did a fantastic job of making what is certain to become one of the best comedies on TV."
The Comedians marks the Emmy Award winning Crystal's first regular starring role in a TV series since his performance as "Jodie Dallas" in the groundbreaking ABC comedy Soap, which ran from 1977-81.
Larry Charles (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld), Matt Nix (Burn Notice), and Ben Wexler (Community, Arrested Development) are Writers and Executive Producers of the project, along with Crystal. Charles directed the pilot. Josh Gad is serving as Producer. The half-hour, single-camera comedy is produced by Fox Television Studios. Production will begin this year and the series will air on FX in 2015.
Fox Television Studios President David Madden added his own statement.
"If comedy is timing, we were wildly fortunate to land this material at a time when two true comedy superstars were open to doing a series. With the combination of Billy and Josh, and the comic writing/directing gifts of Larry, Ben and Matt, all we needed to do was to get out of their way."
The Comedians is based on a Swedish format of the same title from Stockholm-based Efti AB, whose Carl Molinder and John Nordling also executive produce. Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin also serve as Executive Producers, with Kristen Campo serving as Co-Executive Producer, via their production company Fabrik Entertainment (Burn Notice, The Killing), which is also producing the project.