Confirmation came Wednesday that he joined the untitled Emily Spivey comedy pilot at NBC (first reported last week by blog Splitsider), effectively ruling out what seemed a more enticing prospect: Arnett replacing Steve Carell on “The Office.” That probably wasn’t ever a real possibility but given that the actor is scheduled to appear in the finale, speculation was only natural.
Instead, he will be joining Christina Applegate in the untitled pilot, which is being executive produced by “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels. He’ll play a stay-at-home husband married to Applegate, an acerbic working woman who finds herself home, too.
Is it just me or does that kind of pairing bring to mind this season’s disappointing pairing of Arnett and Keri Russell on Fox’s short-lived “Running Wilde”? Let’s hope his new pilot is at least better than that.
If I had my druthers, I would keep Arnett on “30 Rock,” where he proved just last week how brilliantly funny he is as the not-quite-closeted executive Devon Banks. Arnett is terrific in just about everything he does, but he takes it to a whole other level in his rivalry with Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).
After seeing him in multiple episodes in previous seasons, “30 Rock” is depriving us by just giving him one shot this year. Bring him back…or at least put him alongside his wife, Amy Poehler, on “Parks and Recreation.” It would be smarter for NBC to bolster an existing comedy with Arnett rather than risk losing him on the always dicey pilot front.