9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Vanessa Bayer to Star in Showtime Comedy
Vanessa Bayer is heading to Showtime.
The Saturday Night Live alum co-created and will star in comedy Big Deal, which has been ordered to pilot at the premium cable network.
Inspired by her own past, Bayer plays a character who overcame childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of landing a job as a QVC host.
Bayer co-created the comedy with Jeremy Beiler (SNL, Inside Amy Shumer). The duo will exec produce alongside Jessi Klein (former head writer on Inside Amy Schumer, Showtime's Black Monday, SNL, Dead to Me), who is also set as showrunner. Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Search Party) will also exec produce and direct.
The comedy hails from Annapurna Television, where Showalter has been under an overall deal since March 2018. The company's Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle will also exec produce the potential series, which is being produced in partnership with Showtime.
"Vanessa Bayer is such a sharp and joyful comic talent, and in Big Deal she mines the story of her own life to deliver hard comedy with deep resonance,” said Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine. “In Jeremy, Jessi and Michael, we have a veritable all-star team who never fail to deliver smart, subversive and funny comedy — which Big Deal certainly promises to be.”
Big Deal is Bayer's return to series regular television following her seven-season run on NBC's Lorne Michaels-produced variety sketch show. Bayer earned an Emmy nomination for her work on the series and counts Trainwreck, Ibiza, Office Christmas Party, Will & Grace, Drunk History, Portlandia and Man Seeking Woman among her credits.
Big Deal joins a Showtime pilot roster that also includes dramas Yellowjackets, Hombre and The President Is Missing; and comedies including Lena Headey-starrer Rita and How to Make Love to a Black Woman.
Bayer is repped by UTA, Rise Management and Jackoway Austen.