July 21, 2014 12:35pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
FX Passes on Charlie Kaufman Comedy 'How & Why'
Charlie Kaufman's return to TV may not be as soon as he thought it would be.
The comedy pilot How & Why from Kaufman, who won an Oscar for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has been passed over at FX, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Producers are now shopping the comedy starring Michael Cera to other outlets, with Netflix having already passed on the project, THR has learned. IFC is seen as a potential home for the comedy, though it's unclear if that will actually happen given the price tag associated with the comedy.
How & Why, which was ordered to pilot in March 2013, tells the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is otherwise clueless about life. Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) stars as Goodman Hesselman, host of the How & Why show at the center of the comedy. After losing his passion for the show, he is replaced by a younger host and relocates to a different town to start a similar program with significantly lower stature. Cera (Arrested Development) will portray Mendelson, Goodman's new boss. Sally Hawkins co-stars, with Catherine Keener guest-starring.
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Kaufman penned the script, exec produces and directed the pilot for FX Productions. The series marks Kaufman's return to half-hour comedy following Fox's Ned and 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.
How & Why joins Paul Giamatti entry Hoke as being passed over at FX. The cabler is still prepping pilots Death Pact, Kurt Sutter's Bastard Executioner and an untitled Zach Galifianakis and Louis C.K. half-hour, among others.