Jared Kusnitz, Michelle Ang, Sarah Habel, Inbar Lavi and Diego Boneta have been cast as the leads in the project, which revolves around Lou (Kusnitz), Sofia (Ang), Daphne (Habel), Raviva (Lavi) and Miles (Boneta) – talented best pals who were confident that they were about to dazzle the universe with their brilliance on the eve of their college graduation but a year later find themselves going through a series of odd jobs, low-paying gigs, and comical situations – all in an effort to make ends meet. “It is a comedy about the millenial generation’s experience entering young adult life and the workforce in today’s economic climate,” MTV’s head of programming David Janollari said. “It’s about post-college reality versus the amplified expectations… exploring all the firsts from love, family, friends and career in today’s post-Gen X world.”
Wright, an award-winning playwright, has worked on Six Feet Under, Lost and Brothers & Sisters. It was through his stint on Six Feet Under, which earned him individual Emmy and WGA nominations, that he met Jannolari, whose company with Bob Greenblatt produced the HBO drama. The two remained close and were planning to collaborate on a pilot at the WB but the plan fell through when Janollari departed the network. With Janollari at MTV and Wright having a 21-year-old son, Wright started thinking about the MTV audience and approached Janollari with the idea for Underemployed, which he describes as “a show about kids who can’t find work in their chosen field that addresses the economic difficulties of our rime while reaffirming youth and friendship.” From the get-go, Wright had the lead character, Lou, based on and named after his son, and the closing line in the pilot, which will be said by the show’s narrator, aspiring novelist Sofia. “If life is about making money, we’re all screwed. But if life is about living, then none of my friends are underemployed.”
After a long stint in drama, Wright said he is now focusing on half-hour comedy, which he thinks”makes really good sense for television.” WME-repped Wright recently made the transition on stage with his one-man comedy Mistakes Were Made starring Michael Shannon. Ang, repped by Global Artists and manager Laina Cohn, is now seen in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. Habel, repped by APA and manager Cory Concoff, recently shot the lead role in the next installment of the Hostel franchise. Kusnitz, repped by APA and TJ Mcmurdo, recently co-starred in Disney’s Prom.