Dane Cook, raucous stand-up comedian and sometimes actor, is following in the footsteps of many in his profession by signing a deal with NBC – which will see him his star in very own sitcom. Cook will join his contemporaries, like Whitney star Whitney Cummings, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler – all of whom have either landed deals, or have already seen their program debut on the peacock network.
Reportedly, Cook’s deal with NBC affords him the opportunity to not only star in the proposed sitcom, but also serve as producer through his company SUperFInger Entertainment. As previously noted, Cook and NBC are aiming at a fall 2012 airdate for the currently untitled program.
Cook, who has been transitioning his career more toward the acting side of things, has mostly made his presence felt in theatrical releases like the Kevin Costner thriller Mr. Brooks, and with roles in more-or-less humorous outings like Dan in Real Life, Employee of the Month, My Best Friend’s Girl and Good Luck Chuck - though he will be best remembered for his brief appearance as the Waffler in the ensemble superhero comedy Mystery Men .
More recently, however, the comic has made two appearances on the small screen, playing brother to Danny ‘Danno’ Williams (Scott Caan) on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, but more importantly, the comedian made an appearance on FX’s critically acclaimed Louie to address accusations he lifted material from Louis C.K.’s routine and repurposed it as his own. The episode became on of Louie’s most talked about in an already buzz-worthy season.
Whatever side one takes in relation to Dane Cook and the joke-stealing claims, his appearance on Louie certainly took guts – and, at the very least, earned him some small pass from even his harshest critics.
Still, despite having his fair share of detractors, Cook’s shows have managed to fill arenas to capacity, and helped sell millions of copies of his comedy albums. That kind of success is hard for network executives to ignore.
With the recent spate of comedians signing deals to create and star in their own sitcoms, it sounds as though the struggling NBC is trying to relive the halcyon days when Seinfeld ruled the airwaves, and every up-and-coming comedian looked like ratings gold.
So far, though, it’s looking like you really can’t go back. In its initial outing, Whitney failed to charm most critics, and Handler’s sitcom was essentially sent back to formula prior to the fall season. Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea is now slated to be a midseason replacement for the network.
At present, there has been no word whether Louis C.K. will be writing for Cook’s show in any capacity – official or otherwise.
Expect more news as Dane Cook’s new sitcom will likely drop next year on NBC.