10:16pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC's Jason Katims-J.J. Philbin Comedy Casts Its Lead
Following an extensive search, NBC's Jason Katims and J.J. Philbin comedy has cast its lead.
Canadian actress-comedian Stacey McGunnigle will star in the single-camera comedy Ellen More or Less, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The comedy centers on Ellen, an average-sized woman who begins to reinvent her life (and love life) after she loses 100 pounds.
McGunnigle will play Ellen, a sweet, naive, funny, self-deprecating, goofily charming woman who is trying to shake off the humiliation of her life as a fat girl. Ellen has just dropped 100 pounds and is excited to jump into the "easy" life of a thin person, but she realizes that her inexperience in the world is presenting her with a whole new set of problems.
The actress-writer-comedian has earned a Canadian Comedy Award nomination for her improv work, and she is a member of Toronto's Second City. She's a Second City National Touring Company alum who hosts an online series, Stacey Helps, that has been featured on MTV Canada and Zooey Deschanel's HelloGiggles.com. She recently was nominated for two Canadian Comedy Awards, including best breakout artist. Her credits include CBS' InSecurity and Geek & Sundry's Space Janitors.
The actress landed the role after she nailed the screen test for NBC executives, likely because her real-life story mirrors the concept of the show. She's repped by ICM Partners and Paradigm.
New Girl's Philbin will pen the script and executive produce the Universal Television comedy alongside Parenthood and About a Boy's Katims and Michelle Lee. Peyton Reed (New Girl) will direct the pilot.