EXCLUSIVE: Disney XD, the cable network targeting boys 6-14, has handed a pilot order to Gulliver Quinn, a live-action comedy headlined by Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder. Written by Dan Kopelman (Malcolm In the Middle), the project centers on Gulliver Quinn (Heder), a grown man enrolled in the seventh grade after his family returns from a 15-year research expedition. Rob Schrab will direct the pilot, which is now casting the other roles. Heder and Kopelman are executive producing with veteran tween series producer Stan Rogow (Lizzie McGuire). “It’s an absolute coup for Disney XD to be working with Jon — he is a tremendous comedic talent, and Dan Kopelman’s brilliant script is the perfect project to showcase his quirky sense of humor,” said Adam Bonnett, SVP, Original Programming, Disney Channels. After living in a cave in remote northwest India where his mom and dad were making a documentary film on a rare tortoise, Gulliver grew up acquiring awesome skills such as lightning-quick reflexes and the ability to see in the dark. Now the family has come back to their suburban home, its 1996 décor, years of stacked-up mail and a 28-year-old son who needs to finally graduate seventh grade. At school, he makes a few friends, a few enemies and reunites with his childhood crush, now the school nurse.
Gulliver Quinn eyes a 2012 launch on Disney XD, which has been on a ratings upswing this year. Another hot pilot at the network is Lab Rats (formerly Billion Dollar Freshman) from That ’70s Show alums Chris Peterson, Bryan Moore and Mark Brazil. Disney XD’s latest original series, Kickin’ It, from another sitcom veteran, Jim O’Doherty, premieres June 13. Heder, repped by CAA and Mosaic, will reprise his title character from Napoleon Dynamite on Fox’s upcoming animated series adaptation.