1:56pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jamie Foxx's Jay Pharoah Comedy 'White Famous' Picked Up to Series at Showtime
Jay Pharoah's return to television is official.
Showtime used its platform Monday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to announce that it has handed out a series order to White Famous, starring the Saturday Night Live alum.
White Famous hails from Californication grad Tom Kapinos, who penned the script for the series. The project is based on an original idea by Jamie Foxx and his experiences coming up through the business. The comedy marks a return for Kapinos to Showtime following his seven-season run on the David Duchovny-starring series Californication.
A co-production between Lionsgate Television and Showtime, White Famous focuses on a talented, young African-American comedian, Floyd Mooney (Pharoah), whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to crossover toward becoming "white famous." Tim Story directed the pilot and also will executive produce.
Kapinos will serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside Foxx, who will appear in a recurring role. Megalyn Echikunwoke (Showtime's House of Lies) co-stars as Floyd’s ex-girlfriend Sadie, the love of his life and the mother of his son. Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project) plays Malcolm, Floyd's frustrated agent, who wants his client to do whatever it takes to make it big. Jacob Ming-Trent (Feed the Beast) and Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us) round out the cast. Stephen Tobolowsky (The Goldbergs) guests in the pilot.
White Famous joins a drama-heavy roster of originals at Showtime that includes The Affair, Billions, Homeland, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Twin Peaks, I'm Dying Up Here, Purity and Guerrilla. On the comedy side, the network has Dice set for its second season in 2017, with the network also poised to say farewell to Episodes this year.
For Pharoah, White Famous comes five months after the comedian was released from NBC's Saturday Night Live along with Taran Killam. The latter also coincidentally booked Showtime pilot Mating, from Jason Katims, days after his exit was made public. The Katims comedy anthology remains in contention.
A premiere date for White Famous has not yet been determined. For now, Kapinos will juggle both White Famous and the Fox drama Lucifer, which he also runs.