12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd Comedy Lands at Apple With Series Order
Two months after it was taken out to market, The Shrink Next Door TV adaptation has found its home.
Apple TV+ has handed out an eight-episode, straight-to-series order for the limited series starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd that is based on the Wondery podcast. The comedy, which marks the first time Ferrell and Rudd will appear onscreen together since Anchorman 2, landed at Apple following a multiple-outlet bidding war, with other streamers and premium cable networks also attempting to land the star-studded entry.
Based on the podcast, which was inspired by true events, The Shrink Next Door follows the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist-to-the-stars Dr. Isaac "Ike" Herschkopf (Rudd) and his longtime patient Martin "Marty" Markowitz (Ferrell). During the course of their relationship, the all-too-charming Ike slowly takes over Marty’s life, even moving into Marty’s home and assuming control of his family business. The series explores how a seemingly normal doctor-patient dynamic morphs into an unprecedentedly exploitative one filled with manipulation, power grabs and dysfunction at its finest.
Michael Showalter, who worked with Rudd and Ferrell on the Wet Hot American Summer franchise, will direct and executive produce alongside writer and showrunner Georgia Pritchett and Rudd. The project hails from Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television.
Other exec producers include Gloria Sanchez Productions' Ferrell, Jessica Elbaum and Brittney Segal, Semi-Formal's Jordana Mollick, Wondery's Marshall Lewy and Bloomberg's Jared Sandberg, Katie Boyce and Francesca Levy, while podcast host Joe Nocera will co-exec produce. The series is additionally produced by Civic Center Media.
The Shrink Next Door joins an Apple TV+ slate that also includes the comedies Central Park, Dickinson, Little America, Mythic Quest and Ted Lasso.
Rudd is fresh off of a Golden Globe nomination for season one of the Netflix comedy Living With Yourself, on which he played twins. A decision about a potential second season of the IFC-turned-Netflix series has not been made, though sources say Rudd only had a one-season deal for the show. Other credits include Avengers: Endgame. He next appears in Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was moved from its July date to March 2021.
Ferrell, for his part, spent seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and counts Elf, Step Brothers and Stranger Than Fiction among his long list of credits. Since leaving SNL, he has focused on executive producing TV series via Gloria Sanchez and its male-focused sibling banner, Gary Sanchez. Ferrell's producing credits include the HBO breakout Succession and Netflix's Dead to Me. This is his first TV series-regular gig since SNL.
Showalter and his Semi-Formal banner, meanwhile, are behind the Showtime pilot Big Deal, starring Vanessa Bayer, and the TBS turned HBO Max comedy Search Party.
Pritchett, meanwhile, counts HBO's Succession, Veep and Avenue 5 among her credits.
Civic Center Media counts fellow MRC Television series The Outsider at HBO and Hulu's upcoming The Great, starring Elle Fanning, among its projects. The two companies recently announced development of The Terminal List, starring Chris Pratt. That series also has ignited a bidding war as it is being shopped to premium cable networks and streamers.
MRC is a division of Valence Media, parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.