Showtime Developing Comedy from Sarah Silverman, 'Arrested Development' Writer (Exclusive)

Punching the Clown
Punching the Clown
 2009 VIENS FILMS LLC

Showtime is developing Slamdance Film Festival winner Punching the Clown for the small screen.

The comedy from writer-director Gregori Viens had focused on comic singer-songwriter Henry Phillips, whose dumb-luck rise to Hollywood fame and fortune quickly goes bust. In the TV iteration, Phillips will be living with his struggling-actor brother and dealing with various romantic entanglements.

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Viens, Phillips and Arrested Development's Chuck Martin will serve as writers and executive producers on the project, with comedian Sarah Silverman and David Permut (Face/Off, Farce of the Penguins) attached as EPs.

The film picked up additional accolades at the Gen Art Film Festival and the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, among others. The Village Voice said of it in late 2010, "[Punching the Clown] may be the funniest movie ever made about trying to hold on to one's artistic integrity in an image-obsessed world."

If ultimately ordered to series, the comedy would join Episodes -- another Hollywood-centric project, starring Matt LeBlanc -- on Showtime's schedule. The Punching the Clown news comes just days after the premium cable network ramped up its development efforts with a divorce comedy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Marti Noxon and a military drama from The Good Wife's Robert and Michelle King.

Martin is repped by Manage-Ment and Morris Yorn; Viens is repped by Verve; Silverman, who served as a producer on her 2007-10 Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program, is repped by CAA, Thruline Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham; Permut is repped by Morris Yorn.
 

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose

 

 

 

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