Crystal will play veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with an edgier up-and-coming star, played by Gad. The Fox TV Studios series is targeted for premiere next year.
“Comedians” is billed as a behind-the-scenes look at a late night sketch comedy show and will also feature series regulars Stephanie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson.
Larry Charles, Matt Nix and Ben Wexler are the writers and exec producers of the project, along with Crystal. Charles directed the pilot.
“We’re incredibly excited about ‘The Comedians’ and the fact that Billy Crystal will be making his return to series television on FX. The chemistry between Billy and Josh is amazing,” said Nick Grad, FX’s president of original programming.
“The Comedians” marks Crystal’s first regular starring role in a TV series since he appeared on the ABC comedy “Soap” in the late 1970s. Gad recently voiced the snowman Olaf in Disney’s “Frozen” and also appeared in Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here.” Gad has also been featured in episodes of Fox’s “New Girl.”
“If comedy is timing, we were wildly fortunate to land this material at a time when two true comedy superstars were open to doing a series. With the combination of Billy and Josh, and the comic writing/directing gifts of Larry, Ben and Matt, all we needed to do was to get out of their way,” added Fox TV Studios president David Madden.
The show, based on the Swedish format, is also exec produced by Carl Molinder, John Nordling, Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin through Fabrik Entertainment, with Kristen Campo serving as co-exec producer.
FX also recently ordered two other new comedies, “Married,” starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer, and “You’re the Worst,” with Aya Cash and Chris Geere. Both are set to premiere this summer.