Producer/director Shawn Levy is a busy man. On top of his forthcoming robot boxing movie, Real Steel, Levy is getting involved in television production. Lucky for him, it looks like he may have picked a winner.
According to a Deadline report, Levy, along with business partner Marty Adelstein, is producing a new comedy for FOX featuring comedian/actor J.B. Smoove. The series, which was developed by Smoove and The Office writer-producer, Aaron Shure, revolves around a recently divorced dad who can't afford to move out of his family's home, so he moves into the basement instead.
On the surface, the premise may sound somewhat hackneyed, but there's real room for comedy there if handled correctly. The Deadline article notes that the show shares similarities with Roseanne, which, while not beloved by all, was ahead of its time in presenting a truly blue collar family experience.
Smoove has had a varied career in the entertainment business, working as a stand-up comedian, Saturday Night Live staff writer, and guest star on a variety of films and TV shows (such as the cab driver in Date Night, where he first worked with Levy). Smoove is most famous, however, for his recurring role as Leon Black on the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Playing a vulgar, uninvited houseguest whose bluntness runs directly parallel to Larry David's passive-aggressive behavior, Smoove turned the Leon Black character into a fan-favorite within a few episodes. Clearly, Smoove's work on his FOX show will not be like his work on Curb, but I wouldn't worry about that too much. The man is a talented comedian, and this show seems like a smart pickup by Fox.
In addition to getting his own show, Smoove has also been busy with work on the big screen. The actor recently finished filming The Sitter, opposite Jonah Hill, and is also in the supporting cast of We Bought a Zoo, Cameron Crowe's upcoming film starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Thomas Haden Church. Smoove will also lend his voice talents to Ice Age 4.