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Before this week started, it had been a couple of years since the last casting controversy over at Saturday Night Live, but there have been short bursts of madness over the past few days, with featured players Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah getting dropped from the sketch series ahead of Season 42. Don't worry about the comedians not having anything to do, though, because both of them have been snatched up by Showtime for a pair of comedy pilots that could be headed to our TVs in the nearish future.
Let's kick it off with Taran Killam's project, since he's dressed to kill up top. He will be joining Mating from The Americans writer Stuart Zicherman, who did the writing, and Parenthood creator Jason Katims in the producer seat. (This marks the actual pilot order for Mating from Showtime, which should be a boost to Killam's ego.) The man who knocked out over 100 impressions on Saturday Night Live in just six years will play a recently divorced man who is not at all used to being single after getting married at a young age. We presume re-entering the dating game will not be an easy one for him.
It doesn't sound like this would be an extended gig for Taran Killam, though, as Mating is currently being conceived as an anthology series, in which additional seasons would center on different characters who also have awkward and amusing romances. Which might not be such a bad thing, since the actor does have other things in the pipeline. Of course, it has to make it to one season order before we can worry about more.
Meanwhile, Jay Pharoah will bring his infectious energy to Showtime for the project White Famous, which will boast Jamie Foxx as not only the guy behind the idea for the show, but also an executive producer and a guest star. It would center on a young black comedian named Floyd Mooney, played by Pharoah, who constantly has to keep himself in line with his roots and his credibility as his popularity threatens to make him "white famous."
The pilot will be written by Californication creator Tom Kapinos, and according to Deadline, Barbershop's Tim Story just signed on as an executive producer, as well as the pilot's director. Story and Pharoah are familiar with one another, as the actor appeared in the director's Ride Along in 2014.
Those paying attention also know that relative newcomer Jon Rudnitsky got the boot as well from Saturday Night Live this week. So the big question now is, where's his Showtime pilot? The network had apparently been meeting with both Killam and Pharoah even before their untimely exits, so I guess that's why we didn't get the hat trick of SNL vet pilots.
There's no telling when we will hear any further news on either Mating or White Famous, as both will likely continue the casting process in the coming weeks before heading into production. But here's hoping both of them are hilarious enough to get ordered up, so that Killam and Pharoah could possibly be seen on the same night of television once again.