EXCLUSIVE: CMT is getting another familiar name from its roster of unscripted series hosts to headline one of its first four scripted pilot presentations. Tom Arnold has been tapped to star in the untitled David Litt multi-camera comedy, a multi-generational show about a man (Arnold) seeking the empty nest and his family who is unwilling to let him have it. Arnold’s character Joe Herman, the owner of a hardware store, is described as “salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, good-hearted, eager-to-please, optimistic, but sometimes overwhelmed by the chaos around him.” Litt wrote the script and is executive producing with Gene Stein and Nina Wass. The project also is referred to as Regular Joe, which also was the name of a short-lived 2003 ABC series by Litt, which he executive produced with Stein and Wass. Regular Joe had a very similar set-up to the CMT project, with the central character, hardware store owner Joe Binder, played by Daniel Stern.
As part of its push in the scripted area, CMT ordered four comedy pilot presentations in April. One of them, Working Class, stars actress/comedian Melissa Peterman, host of CMT’s flagship series, The Singing Bee. Comedy veteran Arnold recently hosted CMT’s unscripted series My Big Redneck Wedding. He also recently did an arc on the dark FX drama Sons Of Anarchy.