In an alliance few saw coming, Billy Crystal has seen his new pilot, The Comedians, get a 13 episode order from FX. Production will begin later this year and the series will launch in 2015. This will mark Crystal’s first excursion into the TV universe in over 30 years, as he was last seen on the small screen in the 1977-81 ABC comedy, Soap.
Crystal will be surrounded by a team of comedic all-stars, as rising talent Josh Gad (New Girl, The Internship, Frozen) will play his younger foil, stepping into the role of a more youthful, edgier talent that works with Crystal’s veteran superstar on a late night sketch comedy show.
Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Larry Charles directed the pilot and co-wrote the script with Crystal, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, and Ben Wexler (best known for his work on The Good Guys and the criminally underrated family sitcom Still Standing).
FX has a strong track record of hiring skilled comics and refusing to meddle with them creatively, which bodes very well for the show. Archer, Louie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and The League have all managed to succeed on their own terms. Furthermore, Louis C.K. has gone out of his way in several interviews to praise FX for allowing him to stay true to his artistic vision, and Donald Glover has also spoken highly of the network in the lead-up to his new series, Atlanta.
Personally, I’m most interested to see what kind of role Crystal, a normally milquetoast entertainer, will play on the show. Will we get to see him lower his guard and drop F-bombs, or will he leave that kind of humor in the hands of Gad and the supporting cast? Consider our curiosity officially piqued.
Tell us, what do you think of The Comedians? Does it sound like something you might watch?