The former “Desperate Housewife” and “Telenovela” star will play the lead in the single-camera office comedy about a group of consultants hand-picked to do the dirty work most professionals can’t handle: layoffs, downsizing, generally delivering horrible news. To everyone else, they’re the enemy — to each other, they’re family. Lesley Wake Webster (“New Girl,” “The Odd Couple”) wrote the pilot, which will be directed by Jason Winer (“Modern Family”). Both are executive producing through their Small Dog Picture Company, which is producing with 20th TV.
Additionally, Ken Marino, Kyle Bornheimer, Steve Harris, and Andy Richter have also signed on.
Marino will play “Garland,” a slick, charming attorney — and total shark — who also happens to be Axler’s ex-boyfriend. Bornheimer will play “Ben,” an Army vet with one leg who is the moral compass of the office. Harris has been cast as Carson, the security chief with an intimidating physical presence who has a soft spot for his show poodle. Richter is Luderman, a master manipulator who makes Machiavelli look like a sweetheart.
Longoria also has an arc on the upcoming second half of Season 3 of “Empire,” in which she plays “Charlotte Frost,” the formidable director of the all-powerful state gaming commission. Charlotte has the power to make or break Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) dreams of expanding Empire’s reach to Las Vegas and beneath her alluring facade, lies a force of darkness and corruption. She directed an episode of the Golden Globe-nominated series “Jane the Virgin” last year and is set to direct an upcoming episode of Emmy Award-winning series “Black-ish.”
Longoria is repped by CAA. Marino is repped by Principato-Young and attorney Robert Syzmanski. Bornheimer is repped by Gersh, Haven Entertainment and attorney Todd Rubenstein. Harris is repped by ICM, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Stuart Rosenthal. Richter is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.