Showtime has announced the casting of Emmy-nominated comedian, actress, and screenwriter Jillian Bell — known for her roles and appearances in the likes of '22 Jump Street,' 'Fist Fight,' 'Workaholics,' and 'Eastbound & Down' — in a leading role for a half-hour comedy pilot of its adaptation of British comedy 'The Wrong Mans.' She will be joining Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation, House of Lies), who will also be serving as producer, on the show.
Based on the BBC/Hulu series of the same name that was co-created and written by Matthew Bayton, and James Corden of 'The Late Late Show with James Corden' fame, 'The Wrong Mans' follows two ordinary office workers, Anna (Bell) and Sam (Schwartz), who have their menial existence turned upside down when a chance phone call and a case of mistaken identity puts them at the center of a web of crime, conspiracy, and corruption.
The voice at the other end of the phone call threatens: "If you are not here by 5 o'clock, we will kill your wife." As the only two people who can help the person in need, the pair must find their inner hero in their quest to save not just themselves, but their loved ones and ultimately their whole town.
Bell's Anna is based on Phil Bourne from the BBC/Hulu comedy that was portrayed by Corden in the original, with an official description for the character reading: "A co-worker of Sam, Anna is a somewhat deluded fantasist who lives with her mother and has such an empty life that she leaps at the opportunity to join Sam in saving the kidnapped woman. Whereas Sam just wants to get on with his quite ordinary life, Anna is desperate for excitement and extremely unrealistic about her capacity as an action hero."
The UK version released to widespread critical acclaim with its unique combination of the comedy format alongside its intricate plotting and storytelling tropes of an action-adventure series setting it apart from its numerous competitors. A two-part sequel series which followed proved to be equally successful. Showtime now hopes that its pilot is received well with audiences.
The Showtime comedy-drama will be written and executive produced by Corden, Matthew Baynton (Yonderland), and Ian Maxtone-Graham (The Simpsons). JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), BBC Studios' Angie Stephenson, and Bad Robot's Ben Stephenson will also be serving as executive producers for the series. Jim Field Smith will be executive producing and directing the pilot.
'The Wrong Mans' is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Fulwell 73 Productions and BBC Studios in association with Warner Bros. Television, with a tentative premiere date currently unavailable.