Showtime's men: Smith and Purefoy


Kevin Smith and James Purefoy have been tapped to star in the Showtime comedy pilot "Manchild," from Darren Star Prods. and Sony Pictures TV.

"Manchild," based on the BBC series, revolves around a group of fortysomething male friends (Smith, Purefoy, John Corbett, Paul Hipp) who are knee-deep in midlife crises.

Smith will play Paul, the cynic of the group, an angry divorced guy who loathes himself, his ex and his ex's perfect new husband.

British actor Purefoy will play Joe, the ad hoc leader of his circle of pals. He is attractive, polished, virile and wealthy, goes to the hottest new clubs and doesn't date anyone over 25.

Robb and Mark Cullen, Darren Star and the original series' Nick Fisher are executive producing the pilot, which will be directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal.

If "Manchild" goes to series, it will mark Smith's first regular primetime gig. He executive produced ABC's short-lived animated series "Clerks," based on his indie feature. Smith is repped by Endeavor.

Purefoy stars as Mark Anthony on the HBO series "Rome," which is wrapping production on its second season.

His feature credits include "Vanity Fair," "Resident Evil" and "A Knight's Tale."

Purefoy is repped by CAA and Brlillstein-Grey Entertainment.