1:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Craig Ferguson to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot
Craig Ferguson has found his next broadcast role: acting.
The former host of CBS' The Late Late Show has been tapped to star in ABC's buzzy comedy pilot The King of 7B, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The ensemble comedy, already hailed as one of the season's freshest scripts, centers on Prentiss (Ferguson), an agoraphobic recluse who ventures outside for the first time in 11 years when he spies what could be his soul mate moving into the building across the street.
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The character is further described as far from shy and humble; he wears a monogrammed dressing gown and has a refined, upright, regal bearing.
For Ferguson, the role marks a return to acting for the comedian, who, since he signed off Late Late Show, has kept busy hosting syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game (which was renewed for a second season in January).
With the role, Ferguson will return to the network where he previously starred in The Drew Carey Show for eight seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The prolific comedian has continued to keep a foot in the acting community with regular guest voice roles on series including Family Guy, SpongeBob SquarePants, Futurama, Archer as well as scripted appearances on Hot in Cleveland, Sean Saves the World and Web Therapy, as well as features How to Train Your Dragon 2 and more. He's repped by WME and Gang Tyre.
The news officially puts to rest reports that Ferguson was primed to host a new syndicated talk show for Tribune-owned stations that was eyed for the 7:30 p.m. slot.
From ABC Studios, The Big Year's Howard Franklin will pen the script and executive produce King of 7B. The single-camera comedy, from ABC Studios, also will be exec produced by Neighbors and Galavant's Dan Fogelman and his Rhode Island Ave. Productions banner. David Frankel (Entourage) will exec produce and direct the pilot, with Ben Karlin (Modern Family, Daily Show) attached to serve as showrunner.
Ferguson joins a cast that also includes Carla Jiminez as Juana, Prentiss' housekeeper, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Greta, who delivers art to the recluse.