9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage Lead Cast of Nick Stoller Netflix Comedy
Netflix is going back to school.
Following an extended dealmaking process, Netflix has set up a star-studded cast for its Nick Stoller/Francesca Delbanco comedy Friends From College.
Set to star in the ensemble comedy are Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele, Keanu), Cobie Smulders (Avengers, How I Met Your Mother), Annie Parisse (Vinyl), Nat Faxon (Married), Fred Savage (The Grinder) and Jae Suh Park (The Mindy Project).
The eight-episode comedy centers on a group of friends who went to Harvard together and are now facing down their 40s and experiencing a range of success, or lack thereof, professionally and domestically. With interwoven and oftentimes complicated relationships with each other, the series is a comedic exploration of old friendships, former romantic entanglements and balancing adult life with nostalgia for the past.
Stoller (Neighbors, The Carmichael Show) and his wife and writing partner Delbanco will pen the series and executive produce. Stoller will direct all eight episodes. Production will begin in the fall in New York. The theme of the comedy hits close to home for the couple, who both attended Harvard.
"Nick is a comedic mastermind. With Friends From College, he and Francesca have created a world that is both moving and very, very funny," Netflix vp original content Cindy Holland said Monday in a statement. "We are thrilled to be working with them and this incredible cast, and look forward to audiences around the world laughing with and at these relatable characters."
For Stoller, the comedy marks his latest TV credit after launching his career on Judd Apatow's Fox comedy Undeclared. His credits include Fox's short-lived comedy The Grinder, with Friends From College marking a reunion for Stoller with co-star Savage. On the feature side, his credits include The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. For Delbanco, Friends From College marks her TV debut. Stoller is repped by UTA.
For Key, meanwhile, the Netflix comedy marks his return to the small screen following his Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele, which ended its five-season run last year. He is repped by UTA, Principato Young and Bloom Hergott.
Smulders, meanwhile, is returning to series-regular TV with the role. Repped by UTA, Roar and Gang Tyre, she most recently recurred on ABC's Agents of SHIELD but has been focused on features including Marvel's Avengers, Captain America; The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and more since CBS' How I Met Your Mother wrapped in 2014.
Parisse, for her part, counts CBS' Person of Interest and Fox's The Following and features How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days among her credits. She is with Gersh and DBA.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Faxon (The Descendants) also reunites with Stoller after a guest spot on The Grinder. His TV credits include Married as well as Ben and Kate. On the feature side, his work includes Sex Tape, Tammy and The Way Way Back. He is repped by CAA, Principato Young and Stone Genow.
Park, with TalentWorks, counts The Big Short and NCIS: L.A. among her credits.
For Netflix, Friends From College marks the streaming giant's latest comedy pickup as the company continues its $5 billion spending spree on originals. Friends From College joins a roster that also includes Chuck Lorre's Disjointed; Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill; Santa Clarita Diet, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant; Easy, a comedic anthology from mumblecore guru Joe Swanberg; Aziz Ansari's Master of None; Judd Apatow's Love; Sophia Amoruso's #Girlboss; and sketch comedy The Characters, in addition to more broad-skewing fare like Fuller House.