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Showtime Picks Up ‘Happy-ish’ for Spring Debut, Sets ‘Penny Dreadful’ Return

Showtime Picks Up 'Happy-ish' for Spring Debut, Sets 'Penny Dreadful' Return

If you thought things couldn’t get any “happier” for Showtime after last night’s big Emmy wins, you’d be wrong. Kind of. Showtime didn’t waste any time Monday, announcing a slew of new development news at its TCA presentation in Pasadena, including the pick up and premiere date for “Happyish.” The half-hour comedy will premiere the first entry in its 10-episode first season April 26 at 9:30pm.

Though perhaps most well known for what it could have been — the first-ever TV series to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman — “Happyish” is an exciting prospect for more than one reason. Created, written and produced by author and “This American Life” contributor Shalom Auslander, “Happyish” follows a family’s pursuit of happiness while still asking if the goal is an attainable one. Showtime president David Nevins, who made the announcement, said the show was a high “priority” for him and his network.

“Shalom has a unique comedic voice,” Nevins said in a press release. “He is smart, provocative and thoughtful. I know he’s going to make viewers laugh, but he’s also going to push a few buttons while doing it.” 

Coogan, who took over for Hoffman after his death last year, plays the 44-year-old Thom Payne, a family man whose world is thrown into disarray when a 25-year-old “wunderkind” becomes his boss and demands big changes. Kathryn Hahn (“My Idiot Brother”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”) co-star, with Ellen Barkin, Carrie Preston (“The Good Wife”) and Andre Royo (“The Wire”) set to guest star. 

Related news:

• Nevins also announced “Penny Dreadful” Season 2 as well as the final season of “Nurse Jackie” would both air on the same night, April 26. “Nurse Jackie” kicks things off at 9pm with John Logan’s novelistic horror series to follow “Happyish” at 10pm. 
UPDATE: “Penny Dreadful” will now premiere one week later, on May 3 at 10pm.

• “Shameless” was picked up for a sixth season Monday afternoon. Twelve new episodes will air in 2016 of the William H. Macy-starring series.

• “Roadies,” a new one-hour comedy starring Luke Wilson, is set to being production in Vancouver this week. The pilot was written by Cameron Crowe, who will also direct and executive produce the first episode. Christina Hendricks co-stars.

• The documentary on Tig Notaro, “Knock Knock, It’s Tig,” will air April 17.

READ MORE: Kyle MacLachlan Set for ‘Twin Peaks,’ David Lynch to Direct All Episodes

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