It’s easy to forget that Charlie Kaufman, one of the most acclaimed screenwriters working today, the man behind such headily wonderful works as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Synecdoche, New York,” started in television, writing for shows like Chris Elliott’s “Get a Life,” “The Dana Carvey Show” and “Ned and Stacey,” on which he also served as a producer.
Now Kaufman’s returning to the small screen with “How and Why,” one of two comedy pilots ordered by FX and announced today at the network’s upfronts. “How and Why”is a half-hour comedy that Kaufman will write, direct and serve as executive producer on, one that tells “the story of a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.”
The other pilot is “Chozen,” from Grant Dekernion, Danny McBride and the team behind “Eastbound & Down,” an animated comedy about a white rapper who’s fresh out of jail and who uses the skills he learned there in his quest for redemption. Dekernion, a former “Eastbound & Down” writer’s assistant, will write the pilot and executive produce it alongside McBride and Rough House Pictures along with Floyd County Productions. The “Chozen” characters will be voiced by Bobby Moynihan, Michael Pena, Hannibal Buress, Kathryn Hahn, Nick Swardson and McBride.
Both “How and Why” and “Chozen” will come from FX Productions.
FX also announced renewals for its ongoing comedy series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The League” and freshman show “Legit,” though all will move to FXX, the new channel FX is launching with more of a comedy focus. The ninth season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” will air on FXX this fall, with the network having placed an order for a tenth season that will air in the fall of 2014. The fifth season of “The League,” already announced, will also air on FXX this fall, with a newly ordered six season set for the fall of 2014 as well. The first season of “Legit” will close out on April 11 on FX, and will return on FXX in early 2014.