Jermaine Fowler has closed a deal to star in and co-executive produce Superior Donuts, CBS’ multi-camera comedy pilot written/executive produced by The Odd Couple showrunner Bob Daily and Community alums Neil Goldman & Garrett Donovan. James Burrows has come on board to direct the pilot for CBS TV Studios.
Based on the play by Tracy Letts, Superior Donuts follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop, Arthur, his new young employee, Franco (Fowler), andtheir patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago. Fowler’s Franco is a high-energy, fast-talking force of nature who sees Superior Donuts as a symbol of everything he loves about the neighborhood — it’s authentic and real. As Arthur’s new (and only) employee, he’s going to make it his mission to drag the shop — and Arthur — into the 21stcentury …
Daily, who serves as showrunner, executive produces the pilot alongside Goldman, Donovan, Mark Teitelbaum, John Montgomery and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman.
As a co-executive producer, Fowler is expected to have creative involvement in the project.
This is the second pilot directing gig this season for sitcom veteran James Burrows, who is celebrating a milestone — 1,000 TV episodes directed — with a primetime special on NBC. Burrows also is finalizing a deal to helm CBS/CBS Studios’ multi-camera pilot starring Matt leBlanc.
CBS has been very high on rising actor-comedian Fowler. It pursued him aggressively in the summer, signing him in a rich development deal for a multi-camera starring vehicle that also included a comedy special on sibling Showtime.
This is the second consecutive pilot for Fowler. Last year, he toplined a semi-autobiographical half-hour at ABC, with Whoopi Goldberg playing his grandmother.
Fowler, an alum of the CollegeHumor troupe, co-created, writes and stars in TruTV’s sketch comedy Friends Of The People and has been featured on MTV2’s Guy Code and Comedy Central’s Comedy Underground With Dave Attell. Fowler is repped by WME, 3 Arts and and attorney Jared Levine.