Tracy Morgan is returning to series television and to FX Networks with a comedy pilot co-written by Key & Peele‘s Jordan Peele. The greenlighted pilot, tentatively slated to begin production this summer, was written by Peele and John Carcieri (Eastbound & Down). It centers on a career criminal (Morgan) who is released from prison after 15 long years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Now a man whose only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron must navigate a modern world of political correctness, the Internet, and self-driving cars. Morgan, Peele and Carcieri executive produce with Eric Tannenbaum (The Odd Couple) and Joel Zadak (Key and Peele) for FX Prods.
“What an unbeatable combination – Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele – two exceptional comics joining forces with a great team of writers and producers to create and produce this pilot for FX Networks,” said FX’s Nick Grad. “We’ve been committed to Tracy from the start and are thrilled that Jordan, John, Eric and Joel are joining him in developing this new project.”
This is a brand new project — a new concept from a new creative team — as FX continues to reaffirm its commitment to get a Morgan comedy vehicle on air. He originally starred in FX’s 2013 comedy pilot Death Pact. The network went on to give a straight-to-series order to another project toplined by the Saturday Night Live alum, executive produced by the creators of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The series was put on hold following the June 2014 car crash that left Morgan badly injured. As he recovered, Morgan remained engaged with FX executives while that series was reworked with a new writer, but ultimately the project did not go to production.
Meanwhile, CAA introduced Morgan and Peele who hit it off. I hear Peele had the initial idea for the new show, which he and Morgan developed, bringing in Carcieri. Because of Morgan’s good experience at FX, the project was taken there, with the network stepping up for a pilot order. Morgan, Peele and Carcieri are expected to continue working together in the early going, with Carcieri subsequently taking over showrunner duties as Peele has a slew of other commitments.
Morgan made a return to Hollywood following a year of physical rehab in an emotional appearance at the Emmys in September, followed by a stint as host of Saturday Night Live, the show that made him a household name. The former 30 Rock co-star currently is headlining a nationwide stand-up tour titled Picking Up the Pieces and recently wrapped production on Fist Fight in which he stars alongside Ice Cube and Charlie Day. Morgan will also star in the Weinstein Co.’s Richard Pryor biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? as Redd Foxx opposite Mike Epps as Pryor.
Peele next stars opposite longtime collaborator Keegan-Michael Key in Warner Bros.’ Keanu, which Peele co-wrote. He also is directing horror pic Get Out.