January 07, 2014 1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Denis Leary to Write, Star in FX Comedy Pilot 'Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll'
FX is reuniting with Rescue Me star Denis Leary, greenlighting the comedy pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.
Leary, who starred and executive produced seven seasons of Rescue Me, will again write and star in the comedy, which hails from FX Productions and Fox Television Studios.
"Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is a terrific script and concept with Denis Leary's signature brand of comedy," FX president of original programming Eric Schrier said in a release announcing the news Tuesday. "Denis is a tremendous talent who played a major role in the growth of our network with Rescue Me, which was one of the most groundbreaking series of the last decade. We're thrilled to have him back home at FX."
The comedy centers on Johnny Rock (Leary), a middle-aged rock 'n' roller who desperately wanted to be rich and famous. So far, he's 0-for-2. As the magnificently talented lead singer of New York's legendary early 1990s band The Heathens, Johnny was on his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. His best friend Flash was being called the next No. 1 lead guitar player on planet Earth. The critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out. But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And he slept with Flash's wife as well as his bass player's fiancee. The band broke up the same day their first and only record was released. Twenty-five years later, Johnny is now trying to get the band back together again because his soon-to-be-ex-manager Ira tells him he's a broke, anonymous bartender.
Leary's Apostle banner partner Jim Serpico will executive produce the comedy, which will be filmed on location in the spring in New York City. The project will feature original music and occasional guest appearances by rock stars, FX said.
"I am very excited to be returning to FX where working with Nick [Grad], Eric and John Landgraf has been one of the best creative experiences of my life," Leary said. "Plus I hear they have much better swag now."
For Leary, Sex&Drugs comes more than two years after Rescue Me ended its run on the cable network and as the actor and Serpico's Apostle is poised to launch USA Network's first original scripted comedy series, Sirens. The duo also produce IFC's comedy Maron, which, like Sirens and Sex&Drugs, hails from Fox Television Studios.
Leary is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.
For FX, the comedy pilot joins a rapidly growing slate of projects including Billy Crystal starrer The Comedian, You're the Worst from Weeds' Stephen Falk, Tracy Morgan's Death Pact and Charlie Kaufman comedy How & Why, among others, as the network bulks up on originals following the launch of younger-skewing cable network FXX.