howard_hunt_wise

Got some brief TV news today, leading off with a project from Ron Howard that returns the filmmaker and Arrested Development producer to television comedy. THR reports that Howard has landed a pilot commitment at Fox for a multicamera workplace comedy set in an IRS office. (Cue cries of surprise about Arrested Development alums working once more with Fox, but execs reportedly loved the show so much they bought it immediately.)

The pilot will be written by The Office writer/director Brent Forrester. Howard had evidently played with the idea as a feature film, but Brian Grazer and David Nevins at Imagine convinced him to create a show modeled on Taxi instead. It centers on an agent who tries to work based on the idea “that his job is good and noble and provides a very important, vital service,” Forrester says, “The one thing that unites all Americans is their suspicion and hatred for the IRS. That makes the characters on the show underdogs, because outside the office everyone is suspicious of them.”

After the break, cassting news on Dollhouse and Parenthood.

Meanwhile, Ray Wise is joining the second season of Dollhouse, where he’ll appear in addition to other new and guest stars Jamie Bamber, Keith Carradine, Summer Glau and Alexis Denisoff. Wise will play Howard, an “intelligent higher-up in the Dollhouse.” This is Wise’s latest role after his run on Reaper, where he played Lucifer. Wise is madly charismatic and can be frightening as hell. I’ll never look at him and not see Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks, but I’m always happy to see him in new roles. [EW]

Finally, Helen Hunt may replace Maura Tierney in Parenthood, the NBC show based on Ron Howard’s 1989 film of the same name. She’d be playing the role originated by Dianne Wiest in the feature. Tierey was cast in the pilot, but backed out of the series to address her bout with cancer. This would be an interesting move for Hunt, whose first big career hit was co-starring with Paul Reiser on Mad About You, also an NBC show. [THR]

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