Showtime has given a pilot production commitment to an adaptation of the British series “The Wrong Mans,” Variety has learned.
Based on the BBC series created by James Corden and Matthew Baynton, the half-hour single cam project is described as an action-comedy about two ordinary office workers who have their menial existence turned upside-down by a chance phone call and a case of mistaken identity: “If you are not here by 5 o’clock, we will kill your wife.” As the only people who can help, these two unlikely characters must find their inner hero in their quest to save not just themselves, but their loved ones and ultimately their whole town.
Ben Schwartz will star in one of the lead roles in addition to serving as producer. The role reunites Schwartz with Showtime, where he previously appeared in the series “House of Lies” alongside Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell for its entire five-season run. Schwartz is also known for his appearances a Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation.” He currently lends his voice to the reboot of “DuckTales.” He is repped by WME and Haven Entertainment.
Corden and Baynton serve as writers on the series along with Ian Maxtone-Graham, formerly a writer and executive producer on “The Simpsons.” All three will also executive produce along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson, BBC Studio’s Angie Stephenson, and Jim Field Smith. Smith, who directed the original series, will also direct the pilot. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions will produce along with Corden’s Fulwell 73 Productions and BBC Studios in association with Warner Bros. Television. Bad Robot previously produced the Showtime series “Roadies.”
Both Corden and Baynton also starred in the original series, which ran for 10 episodes between 2013 and 2014. Corden currently hosts the CBS late-night series “The Late Late Show.” He also executive produces the TBS series “Drop the Mic” and the Apple series “Carpool Karaoke,” both of which are based on “Late Late Show” segments. He is also set to appear in the upcoming heist film “Ocean’s 8.” Baynton’s other roles include appearances in shows like “Peep Show,” “Spy,” “You, Me and the Apocalypse,” and “Drunk History: UK.”
Corden is repped by CAA in the U.S. and United Agents in the U.K. Baynton is repped by UTA in the U.S. and Hamilton Hodell Ltd. in the U.K. Maxtone-Graham is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.