You’ve seen him talk about man stuff with Adam Carolla. You’ve seen him spice up Fox’s NFL pre-game shows. You’ve seen him make people read Mean Tweets about themselves. And now there’s a chance you’ll get to see how well comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel does with a network sitcom, as ABC Studios bought up his untitled pilot script, with penalties owed if they choose not to move forward. And he’s telling a strangely familiar story.
The half-hour comedy centers on a formerly famous VJ whose life takes a downward turn and he’s forced to move back in with his parents, according to THR. For work, he takes a job hosting the “morning zoo” show for a local radio station. This sounds like an amalgamation of three different sitcom types, which means it’s impossible to gauge how good it would be.
Now why does that sound familiar? Kimmel spent years working as a radio DJ in the early 1990s before finding work as the genial host of Comedy Central’s Win Ben Stein’s Money, and he’s co-producing the pilot with longtime friend Carson Daly, whose breakout gig was hosting MTV’s call-in music video show Total Request Live. Both men have obviously gone on to bigger and better things, with Kimmel’s ABC late night show a viral video-spewing machine and Daly serving as the host of his own late night show, as well as presenting both The Voice and Today.
Joining the pair as executive producer is Dan Fogelman, the screenwriter best known to TV audiences as the creator of the sitcom The Neighbors for ABC, where he also has the upcoming musical comedy fantasy Galavant. His work on the big screen includes Cars, Last Vegas and Crazy Stupid Love, so it’s just as impossible to gauge which direction his influences will spin the show’s premise.
Let’s hope Kimmel’s pilot works in something ridiculous along the lines of his show’s Belly Flop Contest, as seen below.
This will be Kimmel’s first script, and he follows (sort of) in the footprints of fellow late-nighter Conan O’Brien, who spent years working as a writer on The Simpsons. (O’Brien’s TBS project Fat Chance went nowhere.) To me, Kimmel’s show will work best if it’s Kimmel in the starring role, as his often deadpan delivery could work well within the character context of a man whose golden age has passed. Do you guys think this concept is worth tuning into?