Greenblatt gives comedy the go-ahead

Showtime, riding high on the critical success of “Weeds” and “Dexter,” has greenlit its next series: a new comedy toplined by David Duchovny.

In his first series since “The X-Files,” Duchovny will play Hank Moody, a divorced writer juggling a relationship with his 16-year-old daughter while still carrying a torch for his ex-girlfriend (Natascha McElhone). In addition to his personal and professional issues, he’s got an even bigger problem: He’s battling addictions on several fronts.

Cabler ordered a pilot for the half-hour single camera comedy project earlier this winter (Daily Variety, Nov. 10). Tom Kapinos wrote the pilot, which was directed by Stephen Hopkins (“24″). Kapinos, Hopkins and Duchovy will exec produce, with Melanie Green on board as co-exec producer. Showtime will self-produce the still untitled skein, which briefly was known as “Californiaction.”

Showtime entertainment prexy Bob Greenblatt, who greenlit the project late Wednesday, told Daily Variety the Duchovny skein will further the net’s brand for “high-quality, sophisticated, premium television and will be perfectly at home in the comedy space we’ve carved out with ‘Weeds.'”

Skein also reps a reunion of Duchovny and Greenblatt: Latter exec was at Fox during the early days of “X-Files.” Greenblatt said he was happy to be “back in business” with the actor, but that “anyone expecting Agent Mulder to resurface will be pleasantly surprised to see a completely fresh character who is deeply flawed yet funny, complicated and utterly human.”

It’s expected the Duchovny comedy will bow this summer, most likely paired with a new crop of “Weeds.”

Showtime had been mulling three potential pilots, including an adaptation of Blighty hit “Manchild”. It’s unlikely the net will pick up another comedy this year.

In addition to “Weeds” and “Dexter,” Showtime has been generating major buzz under Greenblatt for skeins such as “Brotherhood” (renewed for another season) “This American Life,” along with miniseries “Sleeper Cell” (which spawned a second cycle.) Net is about to launch what may be its most ambitious effort yet, the lush historical epic “The Tudors.”

Duchonvy’s last feature was “Trust the Man.” While he’s best known for “X-Files,” he demonstrated his comic chops on several memorable episodes of “The Larry Sanders Show.”

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