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Netflix Recruits Judd Apatow, Handing 2-Season Order to Lesley Arfin Comedy ‘Love’

Netflix has given an eye-popping two-season commitment to a comedy series from Judd Apatow and “Girls” alum Lesley Arfin that offers an unvarnished take on a modern relationship.

Love,” produced by Legendary TV, will star “Community” player Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust in the lead roles of Mickey and Gus, a couple in the throes of experiencing the “exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, and other things they were hoping to avoid.” The series is targeted for debut in 2016.

Love” garnered Neftlix’s biggest upfront commitment to an original series since drama “House of Cards’ went on the market in 2012 and landed a two-season order. Since then, the netcaster has built up a solid roster of original series.  Netflix has ordered 10 episodes for “Love’s” first season and 12 for the following season a year later.

Sources said Netflix stepped up with the huge commitment out of its desire to have an original property from Apatow. Apatow, Rust and Arfin co-created and exec produce the series. Brent Forrester, an alum of “The Office” and a past collaborator with Apatow, has signed on as showrunner and exec producer. Hulu Plus was among the other digital outlets vying for the show, which went on the auction block earlier this year. Netflix has rights to the show in all of its global territories.

Judd Apatow has a unique comedic voice that manages to be delightful, insightful, and shockingly frank — often at the same time,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Together with Paul and Lesley, he’s bringing a whole new level of agony and ecstasy to this modern day comedy of manners.”

Apatow acknowledged the company’s largesse.

“Netflix has been supportive in ways I couldn’t create in my wildest fever dreams,” Apatow said in announcing the pilot order.

Arfin has had a fast rise the past few years as a series scribe working on comedies including “Girls,” “Brooklyn Nine -Nine” and MTV’s “Awkward.”

Jacobs is heading into the sixth season of “Community,” which is shifting to Yahoo after a tumultuous run on NBC. Rust is a TV comedy vet (“Parks and Recreation,” “Super Fun Night”) and hyphenate who has also collaborated with Apatow on past projects.

Legendary orchestrated the bidding for “Love.” The company’s TV and digital unit is in the midst of a big ramp up of development deal activity now that topper Bruce Rosenblum has been at the helm for a year.

“We at Legendary are thrilled to be working with the wonderfully talented Judd and excited to partner with the Netflix team,” said Rosenblum. “We look forward to validating their support for this innovative and genuinely funny series.”

UTA was key in shepherding the project as it reps Apatow, Arfin, Jacobs and Forrester. Apatow is also repped by Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham. Arfin is with Circle of Confusion and attorney Lev Ginsburg. Jacobs is with Authentic and attorney Jamie Feldman.

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