US cable channel Showtime is working on a new comedy pilot starring Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and a doc series about people facing imminent death.
Further news coming out of Showtime sees the CBS-owned channel scoring an overall two-year dealwith Dexter showrunner Scott Buck.
Hoffman’s pilot, titled Trending Down is billed as a “blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture” and follows the actor as the owner of an ad company facing a takeover.
It comes from Shalom Auslander (This American Life), who executive produces alongside Ken Kwapis, Alexandra Beattie, Hoffman and Emily Ziff, the latter two via their Cooper’s Town Productions banner.
“We are taking a markedly unconventional approach to process and content – a cross between the BBC series model and a theater workshop. And a meth lab,” said Auslander. “I wasn’t particularly interested in doing TV, and fortunately, neither was Phil. When Showtime said they weren’t either, we knew we had something. We don’t know what that is, but at least we know what it isn’t.”
Meanwhile, doc series Time of Death, comes from Project Runway and Top Chef producer Magical Elves and is in post-production ahead of an autumn debut.
It follows terminally ill individuals living out their final days supported by their families, friends, healthcare professionals and hospice workers.
“This is not an easy show, but it is a subject I’ve always wanted to be able to explore in detail. And I know it will make for a powerful and compelling viewing experience,” said Showtime Networks, president, entertainment, David Nevins.
Elsewhere, Showtime’s deal with Buck will see him oversee development of a number of projects. These include supervising the script for the network’s adaptation of Matthew Spektor novel American Dream Machine, which Dexter star Michael C. Hall is also executive producing.