6:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Don Johnson, Chris Redd to Star in NBC's Kenan Thompson Comedy
NBC's Kenan Thompson comedy is beginning to take shape — again.
Don Johnson has been tapped to replace Andy Garcia and star opposite the Saturday Night Live favorite in single-camera comedy Kenan. Additionally, Thompson's fellow SNL star Chris Redd has also joined the cast of the series, which has enlisted Happy Endings creator David Caspe as its showrunner and co-writer alongside Jackie Clarke.
The comedy revolves around Kenan, a recently widowed host of Atlanta’s No. 2 morning show who struggles to balance his job and his young daughters despite all the "help" he gets from his father-in-law and his brother/assistant/manager/house guest. Johnson will play Rick, the father-in-law, while Redd is set as the brother, Gary.
The comedy was picked up to series more than a year ago and originally envisioned to air after the Olympics, allowing the network to redevelop the pilot. Chris Rock, who directed the original pilot for Kenan, will not return. Rock next has to finish filming FX's Fargo, which was shut down by the pandemic.
Thompson was poised to film Kenan during his hiatus from Saturday Night Live. With production across the industry remaining at a standstill, it's unclear when Kenan could join NBC's slate. The network has earmarked most of its new series for 2021, but should SNL be able to return — even remotely as it did during the early part of the pandemic — it's unclear when Thompson and Redd could film the show. The original pilot was filmed in L.A., with Thompson working on the show around his SNL schedule. (And yes, both are remaining with the NBC late-night show.)
The comedy hails from Universal Television, Caspe's new home after he moved his overall deal there after a long tenure at Sony TV. SNL's Lorne Michaels exec produces via his Universal TV-based Broadway Video banner with the company's Andrew Singer. Caspe and Clarke also exec produce.
Johnson joins the series fresh off of his time on HBO's Watchmen and feature Knives Out. The Miami Vice and Nash Bridges grad has popped up on comedies from time to time, with roles on L.A. to Vegas, Eastbound & Down and, more recently, Quibi's Home Movie: The Princess Bride. He's with CAA and Edelstein Laird.
Redd's credits include Netflix's Disjointed and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. He's repped by ICM Partners, Artists First and Schreck Rose.
Garcia, for his part, booked a co-starring role in ABC's high-profile Erin Brockovich drama, Rebel, from Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff. That pilot is expected to film in the fall, safety conditions permitting.
Keep track of which pilots are still in contention with THR's handy guide.