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Showtime greenlights Jim Carrey-produced series about ’70s comics in LA

Showtime has picked up a new comedy series being executive produced by funny man Jim Carrey, one of two pilots the company was considering for airtime on its premium network.

Called I’m Dying Up Here, the show is set in 1970s Los Angeles, and centers on the stand up comedy scene in that era. Set in a time when many future stars were still working their way up the totem pole, the show looks to be something of a dark comedy, examining the damaged personalities and repeated failures that are often necessary to make good comedy possible.

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Originally based on a book of the same name by William Knoedelseder, the pilot for I’m Dying Up Here was directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), though there is no word on whether or not the director will stick around to direct further episodes. The new show is set to begin shooting in Los Angeles this coming fall, and will be written by Dave Flebotte (Masters of Sex, Will & Grace).

Actors who will appear in the new series include Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Ari Graynor (Fringe), Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine), Michael Angarano (The Brass Teapot), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), and Stephen Guarino (Marry Me). With such a large ensemble cast, the series should bring some great character interaction to the screen, and producers have reportedly already planned for additional guest stars to come in and out of the series during its first season.

For Jim Carrey, a new project might be a good thing. The comedian made a notable return to the spotlight last week, when he appeared to present an award at the Golden Globes — the first public appearance he has made since his longtime girlfriend passed away last year.

Plus, who better to helm a show about standup comedy than Carrey, especially with a network that doesn’t have to worry about extensive censorship?