Premium cable channel Showtime just landed two big-name stars for its new comedy pilot Trending Down.
Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) and versatile comedic actress Kathryn Hahn (NBC’s Parks and Recreation, the upcoming Afternoon Delight) will star in the show, which finds ad man Thom Payne (Hoffman) fighting to stay relevant after a company takeover pushes his agency into the age of social networking. Hahn will co-star as Payne’s wife.
Trending Down has been described by its creators as “a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter” in the age of the internet.
The project was created and written by Shalom Auslander (This American Life). Auslander will also serve as one of the show’s executive producers, alongside Hoffman, Ken Kwapis (NBC’s The Office), Capote associate producer Emily Ziff and Alexandra Beattie (NBC’s Outsourced).
Trending Down sounds like a perfectly dark and entertaining addition to Showtime’s already terrific comedy lineup. The network currently airs shows such as Edie Falco’s medical dramedy Nurse Jackie, Matt LeBlanc’s meta sitcom Episodes, Don Cheadle’s business satire House of Lies, Lisa Kudrow’s largely improvised Web Therapy and the David Duchovny sex comedy Californication. Falco, LeBlanc and Cheadle all received Emmy nominations this year for their lead roles, and Showtime received eight nominations overall for their comedy lineup.
Though Trending Down is only in the pilot stage, I can’t really see Showtime not committing to a show spearheaded by an acclaimed actor like Hoffman. More and more Hollywood A-listers have been making the jump to TV lately, which is great news for channels like Showtime and HBO, which consistently value quality over ratings.
What do you think? Are Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn the right actors to star in Trending Down? Will you be watching if the show makes it past the pilot stage? And which Hollywoood A-listers do you want to see make the jump to television next?