Press release from Showtime, Aug. 11, 2016:
SHOWTIME has cast actor and comedian Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live) in the lead role for the new pilot WHITE FAMOUS, a half-hour comedy executive produced by Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and showrunner Tom Kapinos (CALIFORNICATION). Tim Story, the prolific director who helmed the movie franchises Barbershop, Fantastic Four, Ride Along and Think Like A Man, has joined the project as an executive producer and will direct the pilot. WHITE FAMOUS will be written by Kapinos, based on an idea by Jamie Foxx, who will guest star in a recurring role. A co-production between Lionsgate Television and SHOWTIME, the project will focus on a talented, young African-American comedian, Floyd Mooney (Pharoah), whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross-over towards becoming “white famous.” The announcement was made by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. at the 2016 Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour.
A gifted impressionist, Pharoah is best known to audiences for his successful six season run on Saturday Night Live, and will voice a role in the new series Legends of Chamberlain Heights set to premiere this fall. Pharoah’s feature film credits include Ride Along, Get a Job, Intramural, Lola Versus and Chris Rock’s Top Five. He will next voice roles in the animated movie Sing alongside Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon, as well as the independent animated comedy The Adventures of Drunky alongside Sam Rockwell, Steve Coogan and Jeffrey Tambor. In standup, Pharoah debuted a one-hour comedy special on SHOWTIME last year, and he headlines comedy clubs across the country throughout the year.
Tim Story is the highest-grossing African-American director, with seven movies opening at No.1 – Ride Along 2 (2016), Ride Along (2014), Think Like a Man Too (2014), Think Like a Man (2012), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Fantastic Four (2005) and Barbershop (2002).
WHITE FAMOUS will be executive produced by Jamie Foxx, Tom Kapinos, Tim Story and Jamie King. Louis Fusaro will serve as co-executive producer.