1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Community's' Danny Pudi to Topline NBC's 'Strange Calls'
Danny Pudi is returning to NBC.
The Community star has been tapped to topline the network's horror comedy pilot Strange Calls, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Based on the Australian format, Strange Calls centers on Toby (Pudi), an affable but down-on-his-luck young police officer who is transferred to a rural town where — with the help of a peculiar, elderly night watchman — he starts to realize the town has a bizarre supernatural underbelly.
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Pudi will star — in first position — as Toby, the former Seattle cop who, due to a poor arrest record, is transferred by his father to the remote town of Coolum, an odd place where no one else wants to be abroad after dark. Quick to offend his irascible Sergeant Lloyd (Patrick Brammall, reprising his role from the original series), Toby gets a partner he doesn't want when lonely eccentric Gregor opts to show him the ropes — and Gregor insists with considerable justification that Coolum is a nexus of supernatural activity second only to Transylvania.
Producers are said to have worked out the pilot dates around Community, which will kick off its sixth and likely final season on Yahoo Screen on March 17. Sources tell THR that producers on Strange Calls worked around Pudi's Community schedule to make the deal work. Should Yahoo opt to renew Community — which moved to the web portal after being canceled at NBC — Pudi would have to work out a new deal for the Dan Harmon comedy.
Cougar Town's Blake McCormick will pen the script for single-camera comedy Strange Calls and exec produce the 20th Century Fox Television, Kapital Entertainment and Hoodlum entry alongside Aaron Kaplan, Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Jason Winer, the latter of whom will direct the pilot.
Pudi is repped by UTA, Velocity Entertainment Partners and attorney Bruce Gellman.