Saturday Night Live‘s longest-tenured cast member has just gotten the call from NBC that his scripted comedy pilot — The Kenan Show — has been ordered to series.
The single-camera comedy, exec produced by SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels, stars the comedian as a newly widowed dad who is determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law (played by Andy Garcia) become more involved in their lives.
Insiders say Thompson — who is closing out his record 16th season on SNL — is expected to return to the sketch comedy next year, though it remains unclear in what capacity. Others note that The Kenan Show may have been picked up with a short-order for midseason, meaning he could film the series during SNL‘s hiatus. That would be similar to what fellow SNL star Aidy Bryant did with her Hulu comedy, Shrill. (Bryant will do the same this year and film Shrill season two during her SNL hiatus this summer.)
What’s more, Thompson is also set to serve as a judge NBC’s comedy competition series Bring the Funny. A premiere date for that series has not yet been determined.
Thompson recently made his first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, during which he addressed his future on SNL and noted that he can’t see himself walking away from what he called “the best job in the world.” (Watch that clip, below.) That’s a change from when the comedy was originally put in development, which would have seen Thompson — who won his first Emmy last year for SNL — exit the late-night staple.
As for The Kenan Show, Jackie Clarke (Superstore) penned the script and exec produces alongside Thompson, Michaels and his Universal TV-based Broadway Video topper Andrew Singer. Chris Rock directed the pilot and will exec produce the series.
The Kenan Show is NBC’s sixth overall series order of the season and second comedy, joining Mike Schur-produced Kal Penn vehicle Sunnyside.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter