After Philip Seymour Hoffman's death in February, Showtime stayed mum on the status of its comedy, "Happyish," in which Hoffman was slated to star. On Wednesday, the network announced that Steve Coogan would fill Hoffman's role.
Per Showtime, "'Happyish' is a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place." Coogan will star as Thom Payne, a 44-year-old man threatened by his 25-year-old boss. "Is he in need of a 'rebranding,' as his mentor insists, or does he just have a 'low joy ceiling,' as his corporate headhunter suggests?" Showtime said in a statement. "Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect."
"This American Life" contributor Shalom Auslander created, wrote and will executive produce the show, and Ken Kwapis will executive produce and direct the pilot. "Steve’s range is astounding -– he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands,” Auslander said of his new star. Coogan's credits include "Philomena," "Tropic Thunder," "The Trip," "The Trip to Italy," "Ruby Sparks, "Our Idiot Brother, "What Maisie Knew," "Despicable Me 2" and "Night at the Museum." The show begins filming in New York in December.