9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Tracy Morgan Comedy Pilot From Jordan Peele Ordered at FX
Tracy Morgan is returning to the small screen.
FX announced Saturday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that the 30 Rock alum is set to develop and star in a half-hour comedy pilot written by Jordan Peele and Eastbound & Down's John Carcieri.
The project — which marks the comedian's re-emergence following the devastating 2014 crash that left him in a coma with several broken bones — centers on a career criminal who is released from prison after 15 years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Now a man whose only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron must navigate a modern world of political correctness, the Internet and self-driving cars.
Morgan, Peele and Carcieri will serve as executive producers on the untitled pilot along with Eric Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) and Joel Zadak (Key and Peele). Set up at FX Productions, the project is tentatively set to begin production in the summer.
“What an unbeatable combination — Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele — two exceptional comics joining forces with a great team of writers and producers to create and produce this pilot for FX Networks," said FX's original programming president Nick Grad. "We’ve been committed to Tracy from the start and are thrilled that Jordan, John, Eric and Joel are joining him in developing this new project.”
Before the 2014 crash, which claimed the life of Morgan's longtime friend, comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, he was readying another FX Networks vehicle. The untitled FXX series hailed from the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia trio of Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. Following the accident, FX issued a statement expressing its support for Morgan: "At the point when Tracy has recovered and decides that he is ready to go back to work, his show will be waiting for him." The Morgan-Peele entry will be instead of the first untitled project, which is no longer in the works and had only filmed a pilot.
Morgan made his first public appearance in a 2015 interview with Today's Matt Lauer, and then surprised Hollywood with an emotional return to the Emmy stage to present the final award of the night. Weeks later, he followed that with a turn hosting Saturday Night Live, the series that birthed his TV career. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in September, Morgan suggested getting back to comedy was of utmost importance to him. Between tears, he insisted it was "going to take more than 18 wheels," adding, "It's going to take more than that to stop me from making you all laugh. I'm going to do that until I die."
If ultimately ordered to series, the Morgan project would join a comedy roster that includes the upcoming Baskets, Atlanta and Better Things as well as You're the Worst, Man Seeking Woman, Louie, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll and the animated Archer.