Bill Hader’s lengthy comedy résumé is about to get even longer. HBO has given a series pickup to Barry, a new comedy in which he’ll star as well as co-write, according THR. On top of that, Hader serves as the pilot’s executive producer and director.
The series centers on Barry, an unhappy hitman who lives in the Midwest. When he takes an assignment in Los Angeles, though, he ends up finding his place in the city’s theater scene. The contrast between his dark job and the bright-eyed acting hopefuls should be amusing, and Hader’s comedic chops will only add to the entertainment value.
The comedian will share the screen with a sizable group of other actors. His co-stars include Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan, and Glenn Fleshler. He also teams up with Alec Berg (Silicon Valley) on the script.
Hader reached an overall deal with HBO back in 2014, and Barry comes as part of it. The pickup comes shortly after Casey Bloys took over as HBO’s new president of programming. He was promoted at the end of May after the departure of Michael Lombardo. As the previous head of comedy, Bloys is obviously familiar with the genre.
The network has other pilots involving high-profile comedians in the pipeline as well. Among them are Sarah Silverman’s The Gorburger Show and Lena Duham’s Max. With shows like The Brink and Togetherness done, HBO needs comedies to replace them. So far, in addition to Barry, viewers can expect Sarah Jessica Parker’s Divorce, Issa Rae’s Insecure, and Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow’s Crashing, among others.
HBO has done well with a number of comedies in recent years, including Dunham’s Girls, the critically acclaimed Veep, and the immensely popular Ballers, starring Dwayne Johnson. Barry has a lot to live up to, but with Hader involved, it looks like one to bet on.