2:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells to Star in Showtime Wall Street Comedy Pilot
House of Lies star Don Cheadle is returning to Showtime.
Following a lengthy deal-making period, the premium cable network has tapped Cheadle and Girls alum Andrew Rannells to star in comedy pilot Ball Street, from Happy Endings creator David Caspe and Jordan Cahan and exec produced and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Ball Street kicks off on Oct. 19, 1987 — aka Black Monday, the day of the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street. The potential series will explore who caused it as it revolves around a group of outsiders who take on Wall Street.
The comedy is a co-production between Showtime and Sony Pictures Television, where Rogen and Goldberg as well as Caspe are under overall deals.
Cheadle, who won a Golden Globe and scored four Emmy nominations for Showtime comedy House of Lies, stars as Rod "The Jammer" Jaminski, a self-educated, self-made, self-destructive master of the universe whose firm the financial press called, “The L.A. Raiders of corporate raiders.” Rannells, a two-time Tony nominee, plays Blair Shmerman, a fresh-out-of-Wharton trading prodigy whose pure heart will struggle to survive Wall Street (from both a metaphoric and cocaine standpoint). Jammer’s top lieutenant, Dawn Darcy, has yet to be cast. Darcy is the first female head trader on the street, who’ll ride the second wave of feminism through a sea of horny millionaires.
Caspe and Cahan (My Best Friend's Girl) will serve as showrunners. Production on the pilot will begin in February.
"When the global economy incinerates itself, people always wonder why. Ball Street is a dream project rising from the ashes of that disaster,” said Showtime CEO David Nevins. “In Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells, we have two of the most dynamic performers in the world today — the question is which one of them lit the match. With Seth, Evan, David and Jordan at the helm, we are primed for the launch of something memorable.”
Ball Street, which is being redeveloped from a script at Showtime a few years ago, marks the latest foray for Rogen and Goldberg, who also exec produce AMC comic book take Preacher and next have Hulu comedy Future Man. They also have FX comedy pilot Singularity in the works. They're repped by UTA.
Caspe, who created ABC critical favorite Happy Endings, is lifelong friends with Cahan and the duo previously teamed on NBC's short-lived comedy Marry Me, where the latter was a supervising producer. Caspe is with WME. Cahan is with UTA.
Rannells (NBC's The New Normal, HBO's Girls) and Cheadle are also with UTA.
Ball Street is Showtime's second pilot order and first comedy. It joins Ben Affleck- and Matt Damon-produced drama City on a Hill at the premium cable network.
The pilot pickup comes as Showtime is poised to launch two new half-hour series this year: White Famous and SMILF. Its half-hour comedy roster includes the final season of Episodes (currently airing) as well as season two of little-watched Dice.