Showtime Orders Jim Carrey Drama, Patti Smith Limited Series 'Just Kids'

The cabler also reteams with 'Penny Dreadful' creator John Logan for a limited series based on Patti Smith's 'Just Kids.'
 AP Images/Invision

Showtime used its time at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to announce a flurry of news, including a pilot pickup for a drama set in the 1970s comedy scene from Jim Carrey and a limited series based on Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids produced by Penny Dreadful's John Logan.

Carrey's I'm Dying Up Here is an hourlong drama centering on L.A.’s celebrated and infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s. The dark comedy pilot will delve into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious, but complex business of making an audience laugh. I'm Dying Up Here is scheduled to shoot in the fall and is written and exec produced by former stand-up comedian Dave Flebotte (Will & Grace). Carrey and Flebotte will executive produce alongside Michael Aguilar (The Departed) and Christina Wayne (Copper). The pilot is based on the nonfiction novel by William Knoedelseder and will be directed by Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies). The project hails from Endemol Shine Studios and Assembly Entertainment.

The pilot becomes the third overall at Showtime and joins Cameron Crowe's Roadies and the newly announced untitled drama from Lena Waithe and Common, the latter of which was also announced Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Showtime is expanding its relationship with Penny Dreadful creator Logan who will team with Patti Smith to adapt her New York Times best-selling memoir Just Kids as a limited series. Just Kids will be co-written and produced by Smith and produced with Logan's Desert Wolf Productions banner. An episode count has not yet been determined.

"A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation," Smith said in a release announcing the news. "The medium of a television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to expand upon the themes of the book."

The book received the National Book Award and has been translated in more than 40 languages.

"Just Kids is one of my favorite memoirs of all time," Showtime president David Nevins said. "Not only is it a fascinating portrait of artists coming of age, but it’s also an inspiring story of friendship, love and endurance. I’m so thrilled that Patti Smith will bring her unique voice to writing the scripts along with the gifted John Logan, who has been doing such a phenomenal job with Penny Dreadful for us."
 
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