EXCLUSIVE: Happy Endings alumna Eliza Coupe is set as a lead of Fox’s comedy pilot Pivoting. She is the first actor cast in the project, a half-hour single-camera comedy from writer Liz Astrof, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Warner Bros TV. Tristram Shapeero has come on board to direct.
Like the rest of the 2020 broadcast pilots, Pivoting was put on hold in mid-March amid a massive Hollywood production shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fox, which has just a handful of pilots ordered during the traditional pilot season cycle this year, has been the most active throughout the production suspension period, working on casting the remaining leads and other pilot hires.
As part of the modified pilot season strategy this year, all networks commissioned second scripts for their pilots after the start of the shutdown last month.
Pivoting is a slightly different situation. Because Astrof wrote it on spec, when Fox last fall nabbed the project in a script-plus-penalty deal, it included the commissioning of a second script. I hear that second script came in so strong, that it was greenlighted to pilot. Like the rest of the Fox pilots, Pivoting last month also received a backup script order. That additional script, which I hear incorporates elements from the original spec script, is being written.
Written by Astrof and to be directed by Shapeero, Pivoting follows three women, Amy (Coupe), Jodie and Sarah, after the death of their childhood best friend. Faced with the reality that life is short, in desperate attempts to find happiness, they make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.
Coupe’s Amy is the funny, offbeat producer of a local cooking show who resolves to spend more time with her children following the death of close friend Coleen — even though she knows next to nothing about parenting and finds 30 minutes with her kids frankly exhausting. Amy also is trying to help her other best friends Jodie and Sarah, who are both at comical crossroads in their lives.
Astrof executive produces with Shapeero and Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor. WBTV and Kapital will co-produce with Fox Entertainment.
Coupe only recently became available for pilots after starring on the TV series Future Man, whose third and final season is airing on Hulu.
In addition to her starring role on the cult ABC comedy series Happy Endings, Coupe headlined the 2016 USA comedy series Benched. She has had recurring roles on Showtime’s House of Lies, Hulu’s Casual, ABC’s Quantico and CBS’s The Millers. Coupe is repped by UTA, Kirsten Ames Management and attorney Jeffrey Bernstein.
Shapeero is coming off two back-to-back series collaborations with Mindy Kaling. He served as director and executive producers on Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral and Netflix’s Never have I Ever. Shapeero’s extensive TV credits also include directing the pilot and multiple episodes of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He is repped by WME.