Donald Sutherland will lend his experienced and versatile acting chops to the increasingly appealing comedy pilot, My Life as an Experiment, for NBC.
The program centers on the work of real-life humorist and “stunt journalist” A.J. Jacobs (think David Sedaris meets a very sedate Hunter S. Thompson), who has become renowned for living the subjects of his essays and books, specifically the time he spent attempting to improve every aspect of his life - as detailed in the book The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment.
During this period, Jacobs became absorbed by a number of extreme alterations to his way of life, such as becoming a single woman to understand dating or when, in an attempt to salvage his self-respect, he staunchly follows George Washington’s 110 Rules of Life.
Some of Jacobs’ more highly-publicized work includes The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, and essays like My Outsourced Life where he hired assistants from India to handle virtually all aspects of his life from spats with his wife, to responding to emails and even reading to his children.
My Life as an Experiment will convert Jacobs’ musings and experiences into the sitcom format by casting comedian Jon Dore as A.J. Wilder, a journalist whose unconventional approach to life and work begins to take its toll on his wife Stacie, played by the recently cast Paget Brewster. Sutherland joins the cast as Stacie’s father, a celebrated heart surgeon and all-around egotistical nightmare.
Known most recently for his supporting roles in films like The Eagle and the Jason Statham actioner The Mechanic, Sutherland has appeared on screens large and small over 150 times. With plenty of comedic roles under his belt, he certainly will find a way to make his role on the proposed series work, and could likely end up the major draw of My Life as an Experiment.
Furthermore, Sutherland is no stranger to cocky, self-important surgeons, as he originated the role of Hawkeye Pierce in MASH back in 1970, so the veteran actor won’t need much in the way of preparation for his new role.
Sutherland is a big addition to a pilot that is looking markedly more attractive as production nears. My Life as an Experiment should not only make it past the pilot stage, but also make a decent addition to NBC’s successful Thursday night comedy line up.
Source: TV Line