Billy Eichner to Star in USA Comedy From Amy Poehler (Exclusive)

Amy Poehler Billy Eichner Julie Klausner - H 2014
Amy and Billy: AP Images; Julie: Viewpoint

Amy Poehler Billy Eichner Julie Klausner - H 2014

Billy Eichner is expanding his comedy brand to the USA Network.

The Emmy-nominated Billy on the Street host is teaming with longtime friend and head writer Julie Klausner (Mulaney) to create and star in a scripted comedy for USA, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

In Difficult People, which Eichner and Klausner created, the duo star as frustrated comedians and pop culture-loving best friends living in New York City who hate everyone -- except each other.

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USA has ordered a pilot presentation for the half-hour comedy -- similar to how Eliza Coupe starrer Benched started. (That pilot presentation went on to earn a series order.)  Klausner will pen the script for Difficult People. Amy Poehler will executive produce the comedy, which hails from Universal Cable Productions. Dave Becky of 3 Arts also will exec produce alongside Michele Armour of Marobru (Chappelle's Show), and Andrew Fleming (Hamlet 2) will direct.

The deal expands Eichner's relationship with Klausner, who serves as a head writer and co-EP on Fuse's man-on-the-street game show Billy on the Street, now in its third season. It also builds on Eichner's relationship with Poehler, who has been a longtime fan of the comedian and a frequent guest on the Fuse comedy. Eichner had a recurring role on the recently concluded sixth season of NBC's Parks and Recreation, with producers keen on having his character, Craig, potentially return as a series regular.

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Difficult People comes as USA has been making an aggressive push into original scripted comedies. The NBCUniversal-owned cabler recently launched Sirens, its first original scripted comedy, as well as the Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham entry Playing House. Coupe-starrer Benched is up next to go along with syndicated repeats of Modern Family. USA also recently passed on family comedy pilot Divide & Conquer.

Difficult People marks Poehler's latest offscreen role as a producer following her three-year development deal with Universal Television. She's currently writing and exec producing NBC's Natasha Lyonne comedy pilot Old Soul, which sources say came in strong and has a good chance at a series order. She also serves as an exec producer on Comedy Central's web-to-TV comedy Broad City, which has been renewed for a second season. 

Eichner is repped by WME, 3 Arts; Poehler is with WME, 3 Arts and Sloane Offer; Klausner is with WME and Avalon Management; Armour and Fleming are also with WME.

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