5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fox Orders Kevin Connolly Fantasy Football Comedy, Rivers Cuomo Half-Hour to Pilot
Just in time for the Super Bowl, Fox is moving forward with its fantasy football comedy — and adding a half-hour inspired by the life of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.
The network on Thursday handed out pilot orders to Fantasy Life, the adaption of ESPN analyst Matthew Berry's best-selling book of the same name, with Entourage's Kevin Connolly attached to star, and Detour, the Cuomo comedy from Psych's Steve Franks.
Fantasy Life, which landed at Fox in September with a sizable put-pilot commitment with a significant penalty attached, centers on a regular guy who lands his ultimate dream job hosting a fantasy football show and is forced to navigate office politics while becoming the star he never thought he could be.
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It will be written by Tim McAuliffe (Bad Teacher, Satisfaction, The Office, Up All Night), who will executive produce alongside Connolly, Berry, 3 Arts' Jonathan Berry, Greg Walter, Michael Rotenberg and Troy Zien. Fantasy Life, from 20th Century Fox Television, will be a multicamera hybrid comedy in a vein similar to CBS/20th's How I Met Your Mother.
Berry's Fantasy Life was published in July 2013 and became a New York Times best seller. The book chronicles Berry's journey from a 14-year-old fantasy player to the face of fantasy sports for ESPN.com, where he serves as fantasy sports analyst and columnist. Berry, coincidentally, is a former TV writer whose credits include Fox's Married … With Children, Roseanne, Grace Under Fire and Sports Night, among others.
For Connolly, the comedy comes after 20th TV inked the former Entourage star to his second overall deal with the studio to develop projects alongside 3 Arts. The actor previously starred in CBS/20th's short-lived comedy Friends With Better Lives last season. An avid football fan, Connolly also directed ESPN's hockey-themed Big Shot episode in its 30 for 30 series.
For Fox, the comedy comes as the network currently carries Sunday afternoon and evening NFL games. Should Fantasy Life move forward, it would join FX's similarly themed comedy The League. For 3 Arts, Fantasy Life marks its second pilot order of the season. It joins NBC's Greg Malins' multicamera comedy Take It From Us.
Fantasy Life and Detour become Fox's fifth and sixth comedy pilot orders of the season, off two from last year.