Billy Eichner Comedy From Amy Poehler Ordered Straight to Series at Hulu

'Difficult People' co-stars 'Billy on the Street' head writer Julie Klausner and was originally developed at USA Network
Amy Poehle, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner  Amy and Billy: AP Images; Julie: Viewpoint

Billy Eichner is going from USA Network to Hulu.

After filming pilot presentation Difficult People for USA Network, streaming service Hulu has picked up the comedy with a straight-to-series order, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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In Difficult People — which Billy on the Street Emmy-nominated host Eichner and head writer Julie Klausner created — the duo star as best friends living in New York City with the series centering on their typical, irreverent behavior that lands them in some very awkward situations. Klausner wrote the pilot and executive produces alongside Amy Poehler and 3 Arts' Dave Becky (Louie). The comedy hails from Universal Cable Productions and marks the cable-focused studio's first series order at Hulu.

Production begins early next year.

"Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner are a dream team of comedic possibilities. We look forward to bringing this hilarious view of the world to Hulu with our partners at Universal Cable Productions," said Craig Erwich, senior vp and head of content at Hulu. 

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Difficult People expands Eichner's relationship with longtime friend Klausner, who serves as a head writer and co-EP on Fuse's man-on-the-street game show Billy on the Street, which recently wrapped its third season. (Details about a fourth season are still being worked out.)

The series also builds on Eichner's relationship with Poehler, who has been a longtime fan of the comedian and a frequent guest on the Fuse comedy. Eichner has a recurring role on NBC's Parks and Recreation. His character, Craig, is expected to return for the seventh and final season of Parks.

"I tend to enjoy funny people creating and starring in comedy programs, and Julie and Billy are the funniest around," said Poehler, who with new Paper Kite Productions partner Brooke Posch produces Comedy Central's Broad City and NBC's summer comedy Welcome to Sweden.

Difficult People comes to Hulu as USA Network has been focusing on scripted dramas after dipping its toe in the comedy space with pricey syndicated repeats of Modern Family as well as original comedies Benched, Sirens and Playing House. While the fate of the latter remains undetermined, Difficult People was the lone comedy in the works at USA as the cabler has five drama pilots in or near production.

For Hulu, the comedy marks its latest straight-to-series pickup. The streamer also has Jason Reitman's family comedy, Casual, from Lionsgate TV as well as J.J. Abrams' Stephen King event series 11/22/63.

For UCP, meanwhile, Difficult People joins recent series pickups for studio, including Syfy's Childhood's End, The Magicians and Hunters, as well as Colony, Stanistan and Mr. Robot at USA.

"Working with the immensely talented trio of Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner on Difficult People has been an incredible experience, and it definitely delivers on the title of the show in a hysterical way," said Dawn Olmstead, executive vp development at UCP. "We're excited to collaborate on our first original series with Hulu and are looking forward to doing many more."

Eichner, who is also at work on his first book, is repped by WME and 3 Arts; Poehler is with WME, 3 Arts and Sloane Offer; Klausner is with WME and Avalon Management.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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