EXCLUSIVE: Damon Wayans Jr., the most hotly pursued comedy actor this pilot season — as well as most pilot seasons in the past several years — has chosen a TV starring vehicle. Out of a dozen or so offers, Wayans has picked CBS’ multi-camera comedy pilot from writers Tim McAuliffe (The Last Man on Earth) and Austen Earl (9JKL) and The Late Late Show with James Corden executive producer Ben Winston.
In what is believed to be the biggest talent deal so far this pilot season, Wayans is set to star in the project from CBS TV Studios. The rich pact is said to include points on the show and, if the pilot goes to series, a two-year first-look producing deal with CBS TV Studios.
Written by McAuliffe and Earl, the untitled comedy revolves around Peter (Wayans) and Claire, a thirtysomething couple who are tired of their mundane life and start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when an emerging pop star, who is drawn to their super-normal suburban life, moves in.
Wayans’ Peter is a good guy with a sense of humor, happily married to his dream wife, Claire. He is an accountant and business manager for Cooper, the young superstar musician who comes to live with them.
McAuliffe and Earl executive produce with Winston via Fulwell 73 and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry.
This is only the third broadcast pilot for Wayans following the single-camera Happy Endings and New Girl. Both went to series that were well received. However, because he filmed the New Girl pilot in second position to Happy Endings, which was heavily on the bubble but got surprisingly renewed by ABC, he could not continue on the Fox comedy. (He later reprised his role as Coach from the New Girl pilot as a recurring and in a season-long series regular.)
Despite dozens of offers over the years, this is the first broadcast pilot Wayans Jr. has signed on for to since New Girl in 2011. He recently did Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s FX pilot Singularity.
This marks a return to the multi-camera comedy format for Wayans Jr., who started his acting career as a child, recurring on his dad Damon Wayans’ popular ABC sitcom My Wife and Kids. He is repped by WME.