David Schwimmer is eyeing a return to the small screen. In his first major broadcast TV role since Friends, Schwimmer has signed on as the male lead in the ABC comedy pilot Irreversible, from Peter Tolan and Sony Pictures TV. Schwimmer also will serve as a producer on the project, based on the Israeli series Bilti Hafich. I hear the premium deal also includes a future pilot directing commitment from ABC. Following his 10-season run on NBC’s mega-hit Friends, Schwimmer had focused on directing, helming two features — Run, Fatboy, Run and Trust — episodic television and two pilots, one of which, last season’s Growing Up Fisher, was picked up to series by NBC.
Irreversible, which is partially improvised in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm, centers on Andy (Schwimmer) and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, self-absorbed couple, and their trials and tribulations — most of which they bring upon themselves. Bilti Hafich became an instant hit when it launched last January, ranking as the No. 1 original comedy on Israeli broadcast TV and earning a second-season renewal. Sony’s adaptation sparked a heated bidding in August, scoring a rare pilot greenlight with a big, seven-figure penalty off of a pitch.
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The original series’ co-creator Segahl Avin co-wrote the adaptation and may direct the pilot, which will film in New York. Avin is executive producing with Fedora’s Tolan and Michael Wimer and Reshet TV, the Israeli broadcaster behind the original series, while Schwimmer is producing. Schwimmer, whose only onscreen TV credit since Friends has been an arc on the web/Showtime improv series of his Friends co-star Lisa Kudrow, is repped by Gersh and attorney Michael Gendler. He had been the only Friends cast member besides Jennifer Aniston not to headline a follow-up TV series.