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One is a licensed physician-turned-comedian and actor. The other is an NBA legend. Neither of them has ever been a kindergarten substitute teacher — but they might be, if a TBS pilot goes to series.
Ken Jeong and Shaquille O’Neal will star in the cable network’s pilot Unqualified, which will follow them as they try their hands at a variety of jobs. The show, from Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s Abso Lutely Productions, puts Jeong and O’Neal together for a second time on TBS: They faced off on the cabler’s rap-battle show Drop the Mic in April, which was the show’s most-watched episode of season two.
“These guys made magic on Drop The Mic together. Their chemistry is undeniable,” said Michael Bloom, senior vp unscripted and specials for TBS and TNT. “And no doubt that magic will extend to the unwitting people who expect anything to get done when they show up.”
In Unqualified, Jeong and O’Neal will be summoned to temporary employment via a digital portal, with their employers having no idea who’s coming. The two stars will sometimes be unaware what job they’re taking on as well — anything from mall security guard to party clown to substitute teacher.
“We are built to hustle,” said O’Neal and Jeong in a statement. “We’re thankful to TBS for giving us the opportunity to embrace any challenge that comes our way, and we hope to surprise everyone with our ability to learn the ropes on the fly.”
Jeong and O’Neal will executive produce Unqualified along with Heidecker, Wareheim, Jensen Karp, Perry Rogers, Colin Smeeton, Mike Perris and Brett Carducci.
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