EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon is finalizing a deal for a pilot order to a comedy starring iCarly‘s Jerry Trainor for its Nick At Nite nighttime block. Titled Wendell & Vinnie, the multi-camera project was created by Emmy-winning writer-producer Jay Kogen (Frasier). It stars Trainor as Vinnie, an irresponsible goofball who becomes the guardian to his conservative genius 12-year old nephew. Kogen is executive producing the pilot with Aaron Kaplan (Terra Nova, GCB). While there has been speculation that the upcoming season of long-running comedy iCarly will be its last, Nickelodeon has not made a final decision yet and Trainor, repped by ICM and the Burstein Co., could perceivable do both series. He also voices the lead character in an animated Nickelodeon series, T.U.F.F. Puppy.
This is the second original pilot for Nick At Nite, following the October pickup of Daddy’s Home starring Scott Baio. Like Daddy’s Home, Wendell & Vinnie was greenlighted with a star already attached. For Kaplan this is the 13th pilot order since he launched his indie company Kapital Entertainment less than 3 years ago. Nick at Nite currently features reruns of Friends, My Wife & Kids, George Lopez and The Nanny. Kogen is with Paradigm.