Jay Baruchel to Produce Semi-Autobiographical Comedy at ABC

The 20th Century Fox Television project landed at the network with a significant penalty.
Brian Bowen Smith/Disney
Jay Baruchel

ABC is turning its lens on Jay Baruchel.

The network has landed a semi-autobiographical comedy from the actor and his writing partner, Jesse Chabot, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The untitled comedy features the Undeclared star's take on a successful actor who eschews the fame and superficiality of Hollywood to move back home to Burlington, Vt., where he buys a house down the street from his mom and invites his two best friends from childhood to move in with him. It's described as a show with equal parts heart and teeth that proves you can go home again -- it's just going to take more work than you thought.

Baruchel and Chabot (Random Acts of Violence) will write and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television project, which landed at ABC with a significant penalty. Tagline Pictures (Psych, The Burn With Jeff Ross) will produce with Baruchel's managers, Willie Mercer and Marc Hamou of Thruline, on board as executive producers. (Baruchel is not currently attached to have an onscreen role.)

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For the Canadian actor-comedian, the project marks his latest behind the camera venture. Baruchel, whose U.S. acting breakthrough came on Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks follow-up Undeclared, most recently penned the screenplay (with Evan Goldberg) for Goon, a hockey comedy that earned him the Golden Box Office prize from Telefilm Canada. He's attached to pen the sequel and is writing features Exorcism Diaries, Baseballissimo, Johnny Klutz and Pig, the latter of which he'll also direct.

His onscreen roles include This Is the End, Cosmopolis, She's Out of My League and voice work in How to Train Your Dragon; he'll next appear in Robocop and the Dragon sequel.

Baruchel is the latest Apatow alum to add writing and producing to his résumé, joining Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared alums Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Seth Rogen, with whom he starred and produced This Is the End

The entry marks the latest semi-autobiographical comedy this development season. Last week, Accidentally on Purpose's Andrea Abbate landed a put-pilot order from Fox for a comedy based on members of her family getting out of prison. Semi-autobiographical comedies were among the biggest trends of the 2012-13 development season.

Baruchel and Chabot are repped by CAA, Thruline and Lichter Grossman.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit