EXCLUSIVE: New Girl co-star Jake Johnson is expanding his relationship with Fox, the network behind the quirky comedy. Johnson has teamed with writer-director Max Winkler for The B Team, a single-camera comedy produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV. Johnson and Winkler are co-writing the project, about five regular underdogs who, sick of getting screwed over, come together and form a real-world version of The Avengers. But, lacking any actual superpowers, they must rely on their intelligence and cunning to turn the tables on those who take advantage of the powerless. Winkler is attached to direct the potential pilot, while Johnson is poised to make his directorial debut with an episode if the project goes to series. The two executive produce with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.
Winkler, repped by CAA and Principato-Young, made his feature film directorial debut with Magnolia Pictures’ Ceremony, which starred Johnson. Recently, Warner Bros bought an untitled mob feature comedy pitch, based on an idea by Johnson and Winkler, that Rodney Rothman will write, with Steve Carell and Johnson attached to star and Winkler to direct. Johnson and Winkler will also work together on New Girl, as Winkler is slated to direct an episode of the Fox comedy this season. This is the second TV sale for Winkler this season. He also is executive producing/directing a Matt Spicer comedy for NBC/20th TV executive produced by Ryan Murphy.
Johnson, repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment, stars in the upcoming films The Pretty One with Zoe Kazan and Drinking Buddies with Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick. He is the second New Girl actor to sell a script to Fox this season. His co-star Zooey Deschanel is executive producing a sister comedy written/exec produced by New Girl‘s J.J. Philbin.