EXCLUSIVE: Justin Long started his acting career on NBC as a regular on dramedy Ed before segueing to features. Now Long is returning to the network with a comedy starring vehicle. Long is co-writing and expected to star in the project, which has received a script commitment with penalty from NBC. It hails from 20th Century Fox TV and Jason Winer‘s studio-based Small Dog Picture Co. Written by Long, his younger brother Christian Long, also an actor, and Graham Wagner (The Office), The Younger Man centers on a relentlessly optimistic guy in his early 30’s, a role earmarked for Justin Long, who is happily married to the love of his life, a sophisticated woman more than ten years his senior. While raising their teenage son, the two must endure his mother’s scorn and sideways glances from their community, but they are driven forward by his unspoken mantra “I’m gonna make you love me.” Justin Long doesn’t have a formal acting deal for the project but intends to star if it goes forward. He and Christian Long are co-executive producing, with Wagner and Small Dog’s Winer and Renate Radford executive producing. The Younger Man reunites Justin Long with 20th TV. The actor dipped his toe back in the series world with a well-received arc on the studio’s Fox comedy New Girl two years ago. This marks the fourth sale this season for Small Dog Picture Co., which has comedies Man/Child at Fox and The Runt at CBS, both with pilot production commitments, and a Don Todd drama at ABC with penalty. Winer is with ICM Partners and Mosaic.