March 28, 2013 10:42am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Charlie Kaufman Comedy Pilot, Limited Series From Sam Mendes, Shawn Ryan Join FX Development Slate
It's been a busy day for FX.
Hot on the heels of announcing the new network FXX and handing out a 10-episode order to a mini based on the 1996 feature Fargo, FX has put four additional limited series into development and ordered two comedies to pilot.
The cable network home to comedies Wilfred and Louie has ordered to pilot How and Why from Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman and Chozen from Grant Dekernion, Danny McBride and the team behind Eastbound & Down.
Additionally, the cabler put into development Mayflower, from Paul Giamatti; Grand Hotel, from Sam Mendes; Mad Dogs, based on the British series and adapted by Shawn Ryan; and Sutton, based on J.R. Moeringher's novel and adapted by Alexander Payne.
How and Why tells the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is otherwise clueless about life. Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will write and direct the FX Productions pilot and executive produce. The pilot marks Kaufman's return to half-hour comedy following Fox's Ned & Stacey, which ended its two-season run in 1997. His TV credits also include Get a Life, The Dana Carvey Show and Adult Swim's stop-motion entry Moral Orel in 2006.
Chozen hails from Dekernion, who will write and executive produce the animated comedy about a white rapper recently released from prison who uses his new survival skills in his quest for redemption. McBride and Rough House Pictures -- the team behind HBO's Eastbound & Down -- will exec produce along with Floyd County Productions. The characters in the FX Productions effort will be voiced by Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan, Michael Pena, Hannibal Buress, Kathryn Hahn, Nick Swardson and McBride.
Production on both pilots will begin soon and join Howard Gordon's Tyrant, Guillermo del Toro's The Strain and an untitled comedy from Andrew Gurland at the network.
Mayflower is described as an unflinching portrait of the Puritan settlers at Plymouth Colony and their uneasy alliance with the local Native Americans. Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side) will executive produce, marking his first small-screen vehicle. Dan Carey and Giamatti (Sideways) also will executive produce alongside Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard (The Sorcerer's Apprentice), with the latter duo on board to pen the FX Productions and Touchy Feely Films series.
Grand Hotel takes place inside an international luxury hotel in Paris that turns into a trap when it becomes the center of a terrorist attack. Richard McBrien (Merlin) will write and executive produce alongside Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road), Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Alain and Vassili Clert (Spiral).
Mad Dogs follows the reunion of four fortysomething guys who head to Belize to visit their former classmate when things take an unexpected and dark turn. Cris Cole, who created the British series, will pen the and executive produce the adaptation with Ryan returning to the cable network behind his series The Shield and Terriers to executive produce for Sony Pictures Television and Left Bank.
Sutton centers on the journey of Willie "The Actor" Sutton, an Irishman/folk hero and the most prolific bank robber in American history as he goes from the Attica prison to New York City, where he takes a reporter and photographer on a guided tour of his life of crime. The Wrestler's Rob Siegel will pen the series and executive produce the FX Productions installment alongside Jim Burke (The Descendants), Michael De Luca (Moneyball, The Social Network), Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) and Jim Taylor (The Descendants).
The limited entries come as FX has found success with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's anthology American Horror Story, which reboots its cast and story every season.
Meanwhile, FX is ramping up its limited-run slate after handing out a pickup to Fargo, from Joel and Ethan Coen and Noah Hawley for spring 2014.