Though he hasn’t been in a regular TV series since the ABC comedy My Wife and Kids, actor and comedian Damon Wayans has finalized a deal to headline the new sports radio sitcom on CBS inspired by ESPN personality Colin Cowherd.
Based in a sports radio station, Wayans will play Nick Herd, the station’s Cowherd-esque announcer: a cocky, know-it-all on air but, away from the mic, he’s “just a schmuck trying to keep three women from freaking out on me,” says Wayans.
Although the unnamed sitcom is being sold as having been “inspired” by Cowherd’s life, according to Cowherd, that’s not entirely true.
“[It] won’t be autobiographical. It’s not about my life, which isn’t that interesting. It’s about relationships. I want stories on relationships that are authentic. I give them real situations I live through.”
Apparently, the relationships in question regard Cowherd’s wife, ex-wife, and the co-host of Sports Nation, Michelle Beadle. While the roles of the three women have yet to be cast, Danny Comden (Pushing Daisies, Dirt) has been added as the scheming producer of Herd’s show.
Though it may seem unlikely fodder for a sitcom, this isn’t the first time a member of ESPN was the inspiration for a television series. Jason Alexander’s first post-Seinfeld role was based on cantankerous talking head Tony Kornheiser in Listen Up, which lasted only one season.
Additionally, Academy Award winning writer, Aaron Sorkin also had a short-lived comedy Sports Night, which was set in an ESPN-like production studio and starred Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Peter Krause (Parenthood). Like Sorkin’s most recent television effort, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, Sports Night was mostly praised, but barely watched.
So, given the less-than-stellar track record of ESPN-themed sitcoms, the search was on for a star that could, not only help elevate the comedy, but also secure both male and female viewers. Instead of looking for a Colin Cowherd look-alike, CBS wisely chose to forgo similarity, and hinge the series on Wayans, who is more than capable of performing the above-mentioned duties.
Wayans has been relatively low-key since My Wife and Kids ended in 2005, working briefly on the sketch-comedy series The Underground in 2006 and the made-for-TV-movie Never Better in 2008. If this sports radio sitcom makes it to series, perhaps brothers Shawn (Scary Movie) and Marlon (G.I. Joe) can guest star as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of Mike & Mike in the Morning.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter