Fox circles Will Arnett pilot

Network close to picking up comedy from 'Arrested' thesp

Fox is close to greenlighting a comedy pilot starring “Arrested Development” alum Will Arnett.

Pickup comes after the untitled laffer, which Arnett wrote with “Arrested’s” Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely, nearly fell apart a few weeks ago.

Also on Friday, William Shatner joined the cast of CBS’ “S**t My Dad Says,” while Bill Pullman will star as the dad in NBC’s “Nathan vs. Nurture.”

Olivia Munn, Kelli Garner, Kristin Kreuk, Jack Carpenter and Carrie Wiita also scored pilot gigs, among other thesps.

In the case of the Arnett comedy, Sony Pictures TV recently dropped out of the show, citing cost concerns. According to studio insiders, Sony felt that the single-camera comedy was too much of a financial risk, particularly in a year when it already has nearly 15 pilots in production.

Fox then asked its sister studio, 20th Century Fox TV, to take over production. But 20th, which produced “Arrested,” also declined. Having already produced a critically acclaimed but expensive half-hour with the “Arrested” gang that ultimately didn’t go the distance, 20th execs likely got cold feet as well.

Lionsgate then stepped in at the 11th hour to deficit finance and produce the show.

Once Lionsgate is officially on board, Fox is expected to pick the show up to pilot.

Comedy stars Arnett as a wealthy Beverly Hills man who winds up falling for a woman who can’t stand his obnoxious ways.

Vallely and Hurwitz will exec produce with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, as well as Peter Principato and Paul Young.

Pickup reps the fourth pilot for Tantamount this season — while Principato and Young are also having a good year, having seen three of their projects get pilot greenlights.

Besides “Arrested,” Arnett more recently provided the voice for “Ennis Hofftard” on Fox’s animated comedy “Sit Down, Shut Up,” which also came from Hurwitz and Tantamount; Sony was on board that one. Show was short-lived, but Fox continues to air repeats on Saturday nights at midnight (behind “The Wanda Sykes Show”).

Arnett’s recent TV credits include guest stints on “Parks and Recreation” — opposite his real-life wife, Amy Poehler — and “30 Rock,” where he recurs as Devon Banks.

Vallely and Hurwitz are also writing the long-awaited “Arrested Development” movie, in which Arnett would revive his role as Gob Bluth.

In other pilot news Friday, CBS and Warner Bros. TV confirmed that Shatner will star in the comedy adaptation of popular Twitter feed “Shit My Dad Says.”

Shatner’s involvement triggered a pilot pickup at the Eye. Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are exec producers, while Warner Bros. TV is behind the show.

Separately, Pullman has joined the cast of NBC’s sitcom pilot “Nathan vs. Nurture,” joining the cast as star Jay Harrington’s father.

Sony Pictures TV is the studio. Pullman starred in NBC’s short-lived “Revelations,” and also has guested on “Law & Order: SVU.”

His recent film credits include “Bottle Shock.”Other castings include Kelli Garner (“Taking Woodstock”), who will play Dawn Barbuso in ABC’s documentary-style drama “Generation Y.”

Garner’s credits also include “Lars and the Real Girl,” directed by Craig Gillespie. Gillespie is also directing “Generation Y,” from scribe Noah Hawley.

Then there’s “Attack of the Show” co-host Olivia Munn, who’s on tap to play Leigh in NBC’s sitcom pilot “Perfect Couples.”

Munn will next be seen in “Iron Man 2,” as wekk as “Date Night.” Jon Pollack and Scott Silveri are behind “Perfect Couples,” about three different relationships.

And Carrie Wiita has been added on NBC’s “The Strip” as Ashley, the love interest of star Robert Ben Garant. Wiita is also on the Fox sketch comedy pilot “Inside Jokes.”

Other recent hires include Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville”) and Jack Carpenter (“The Return of Jezebel James”) as the couple on CBS’ Josh Schwartz laffer “Hitched,” and Caroline Dhavernas (“Wonderfalls”) on ABC’s Shonda Rhimes entry “Off the Map.”

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