In addition to being the son of iconic Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, filmmaker Jason Reitman has made a solid name for himself behind the camera with films like Juno and Up in the Air. Now the Oscar-nominated director is taking his talents to a smaller screen.
THR has word that Hulu has made a 10-episode order for a new comedy series called “Casual” that Reitman will executive produce for the streaming service, marking his first foray into small screen programming.
“Casual” seems right in Reitman’s wheelhouse as it follows a dysfunctional family, including a bachelor brother and recently divorced sister, now living together and trying to coach each other back into the wild world of dating – online as well as unplugged. And adding to the formula is a teenager coming of age under their tutelage. We’re surprised this didn’t land at Netflix, but Hulu is really starting to amp up their original series game.
The project was set up at Lionsgate Television, with script work from newcomer Zander Lehmann, and Reitman will direct the pilot of the series, which is also being produced by the director’s Right of Way production banner along with his partner Helen Estabrook (who’s coming off Whiplash). They’ll all act as executive producers on the series which will start shooting before the year is out and premiere sometime in 2015.
It’s a great time for television, and these smaller stories that don’t need big budgets and might flounder as lower budget feature films are finding life through services like Netflix and Hulu. No longer is the medium looked at as being below the quality of feature films, and in some cases, it’s exceeding the quality of big screen fare. You used to never see Oscar-nominated filmmakers head to television except as a last resort, but that’s all changing now.
Reitman says, “I’ve long looked for the right first step into episodic storytelling. In Zander Lehmann, I have found the perfect collaborator. His writing is hilarious and provocative.” We’re just glad that this is an original series and it’s not a remake of a show from the ’70s or an adaptation of a feature film just for nostalgia’s sake. The series joins Hulu’s other big series venture, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/23/63 from Bad Robot, so they’ve got quite a killer new line-up of programming on the way.
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