He may not have succeeded in his quest to take over from David Letterman at CBS’s “Late Show,” at least not in the fictional world of his FX comedy series, but in real lifeLouis C. K. has landed another highly coveted late-night television gig: he will be the host of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC on Nov. 3. Louis C. K., the pioneering standup comedian and writer, director and star of FX’s “Louie,” will be joined by the pop-rock trio Fun. when he makes his hosting debut on “S.N.L.” This booking comes in the middle of a national standup tour that Louis C. K. embarked upon without the help of a third-party ticketing service, and it will follow a seven-night, 14-show stand at New York City Center starting Monday. While he infrequently acts outside of projects that he has written himself, Louis C. K. has made exceptions; he has appeared as a recurring character on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and also has a role in an as-yet untitled Woody Allen movie. “Saturday Night Live” has a long tradition of featuring standup comedians as hosts, from its first episode in 1975, hosted by George Carlin, to more recent episodes hosted by Louis C. K.’s sometime rival Dane Cook.
The story of Party Down is all too familiar. Another great show, well written and impeccably acted, that didn’t find enough viewers and therefore prematurely bit the dust. The great cast have all landed pretty much on their feet, several nabbing supporting stints on big shows like Glee, Parks and Recreation or New Girl. And even though Ryan Hansen’s unfortunately titled first post-Party Down seriesFriends With Benefits didn’t last its first year, he’s got another two tries at it this season.
Deadline announced that Hansen has just been cast in the upcoming, and still untitled comedy from Louis C.K. and Spike Feresten set up at CBS. This co-starring gig for the comedians’ new pilot comes on the heels of his Fox comedy El Jefe, which started production last month. The Fox series stars Hansen as a 30 something who’s finally kicked out of his parents house only to move in with his adoring childhood nanny. Since Hansen’s locked in as the lead on El Jefe, the CBS pilot he just booked is in second position, with him signing on as a guest star with an option to become a series regular.
Covering his bases is certainly a smart idea, especially with how things turned out for Hansen’s sitcom last season, but I can’t help but wonder if the pilot in second position should be his top priority. The CBS comedy not only boasts big names like Louis C.K. and Spike Feresten (a writer from Seinfeld and briefly a talk-show host), but the story also sounds much more promising. The potential series would follow a group of young artists trying to find creative success in the tough financial climate. Hansen will be the pilot’s co-lead and roommate to Dan Byrd (Easy A), with the former playing a stoner musician and the latter a sardonic and struggling film editor. I hope one of the two pilots lead to a permanent gig for Hansen because he was always hilarious as Kyle on Party Down and deserves a show that sticks around.
This is getting suspicious. Three weeks ago, a particularly surprising bit of newsblossomed regarding Louis C.K., a comedic genius and pioneer in offbeat television: it was reported that C.K. was teaming with Seinfeld writer Spike Feresten to create a sitcom pilot for CBS. This, alone, was shocking to those familiar with C.K.’s brand of comedy—particularly, with his FX series Louie: it’s dark, depressing, and not structurally out of sync with just about everything else on television. So many of us wondered if C.K. would be adapting to CBS’ general comedic brand, or if the network would be open to the comedian’s signature style. The first bit of casting news regarding the series drives us further away from a clear answer: Ashley Tisdale is reported to be starring in the pilot.
Louis C.K. has sold a comedy to CBS.
The FX series star and former SNL writer is teaming with Spike Feresten (Seinfeld) on the show, which just received a pilot order from the network. The untitled project is an ensemble comedy about “young people trying to achieve their creative dreams in these tough financial times.” It has Louis C.K., Feresten, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun, and Gene Stein as executive producers. According to one account, Louis C.K. and Feresten originally conceived the project 13 years ago.