Happyish had been ordered to series in January of this year, weeks before Hoffman’s passing. With Coogan now in place, it reverts to the pilot stage.
Coogan will play Thom Payne, a middle-aged man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25-year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives full of “social” and “viral” ideas. Is Thom in need of a “rebranding” for the new generation? Is pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Or, at his age, is “happyish” the best one can expect?
“Steve’s range is astounding,” Happyish creator Shalom Auslander Auslander said in a statement. “He is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands.” Coogan’s previous credits include Philomena (which he also cowrote, earning two Oscar nods), Alan Partridge and Tropic Thunder.
Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You) will exec-produce and direct the Happyish pilot.