Laura Benanti And Jenna Elfman To Star In NBC Comedy Pilots

Laura Benanti Go On NBCLaura Benanti (The Playboy Club) has landed the female lead opposite Matthew Perry in NBCs comedy pilot Go On. The single-camera project, written by Scott Silveri and directed by Todd Holland, centers on Ryan (Perry), an irreverent yet charming sportscaster who, trying to move on from a loss, finds surprising solace in the members of his mandatory support group. Tony winner Benanti, repped by Innovative and Brookside Artist Management, will play Lauren, the leader of the Transitions support group who is wound tightly but manages to keep her cool … most of the time. The pilot also co-stars Julie White, Khary Payton, Allison Miller, and Suzy Nakamura.

Jenna Elfman 1600 Penn NBCDharma & Greg alumna Jenna Elfman is set to co-star as the First Lady opposite Bill Pullman in the NBC comedy pilot 1600 Penn, co-created by Josh Gad, Jason Winer and Jon Lovett and directed by Winer. Produced by 20th TV, it is a dysfunctional family comedy set at the White House, where the president’s (Pullman) out-of-control oldest son (Gad) returns home and becomes not only the family’s biggest liability but also the glue holding everyone together. Elfman will play the street-smart First Lady with working-class roots who is eager to win over her four stepkids, two of them played by Gad and Amara Miller.

Comments (17)

  • Hey, I got an Idea! Let’s give Jenna Elfman yet another pilot!

    Comment by Fred — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 8:53am PDT  
    • Haven’t we seen enough of her??

      Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 11:53am PDT  
      • She has a real problem finding the funny imho.

        Comment by Joe B. — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 5:49pm PDT  
  • Yay Laura! Let’s hope this one is better than the trainwreck known as Open Books that was her last comedy pilot.

    Comment by LT — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 9:11am PDT  
  • People just loving giving Laura Benanti pilots/series… all her shows die in first season. Did we not learn from Playboy Club? let it go!

    Comment by Again? — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 9:35am PDT  
  • Come to think of it, let’s test a bunch of actresses and let them think they have a shot, and then offer it to a bigger name anyway. in fact,let’s just do that for every pilot this season. Oh wait. That already happened.

    Comment by Alice — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 10:35am PDT  
    • Are you new here?

      This is what they do every pilot season. It sucks for struggling actors when they see their almost opportunity vanish with the announcement of a name in the role, but the studios have a right to look at all possible options.

      You would do yourself a favor to not get your hopes up, even after multiple callbacks and or going to network. Just say, I’ll believe it when I’m offered the role.

      Even then…you could shoot the pilot only to be replaced once it’s ordered to series.

      I’ve been there myself. You’ll add more mileage to your sanity to keep “hopes” in check.

      Just do your work, kick ass, and keep moving forward. You’ll hit something eventually.

      Comment by Vincent Hanna — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 12:22pm PDT  
  • I’m starting to wonder if Benanti is one of those actresses whose success is just not destined to translate to another reason. This sounds like a sure bet to make it on the fall schedule (I’ve great things about the script,) but this is her fifth attempt at a leading role in series in the last five years- STARVED was cancelled on F/X a few episodes after it premiered, she was written off ELI STONE before it eventually got cancelled at the end of its first season, OPEN BOOKS at CBS went to pilot and didn’t get picked up, and THE PLAYBOY CLUB bombed in a big way after only a few episodes this past fall.

    She’s certainly terrific on stage (and has been good in her recurring role in LAW & ORDER: SVU as of late,) but her luck with television has been relatively disastorous.

    Comment by Georgia — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 11:04am PDT  
  • Why not just cancel “1600 Penn” now and save the shareholders lots of money?

    Comment by Pete — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 12:06pm PDT  
  • Stop hating! The ranks of A-list stars are riddled with actors who struggled for years in cancelled show after cancelled show. She can’t make the producers make a better show.

    Comment by Bernanti is hot and talented — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 12:21pm PDT  
  • Um…how many short-lived TV series was George Clooney on, or how many one-season roles did he have, before ER became a massive hit? How many series with the one-time stars of SEINFELD have failed since that show went off the air? There’s no predicting — but there is a reason to keep trying to put talented performers to good use, and Laura Benanti is certainly one of them.

    Comment by Hesherman — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 12:45pm PDT  
    • You’re comparing apples to oranges.

      Clooney did mostly one-offs and recurring guest stints on well-established shows like THE FACTS OF LIFE and ROSEANNE. Did he have a couple short lived series and a pilot that didn’t go? Sure. But that was all very spread out over about a ten year period when he was still a relatively unknown before his film career really took off.

      This is an entirely different situation. Benanti is already very established in the theater world, and having four shows in relative succession over five years all bomb with you in the lead is a much more glaring statistic than working steadily until you hit it big with something like E.R.

      Comment by Georgia — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 2:33pm PDT  
      • I should add that the essential difference is, for the most part, Clooney was a bit player paying his dues until he was handed a big opportunity with E.R., which obviously launched him into the stratosphere. Benanti has been playing very prominent lead roles in the projects she’s done that have all failed in a big way.

        Not at all the same circumstance, though I maintain (as I said in my original post) that she is a very talented performer.

        Comment by Georgia — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 2:35pm PDT  
  • I think some of us may have forgotten what a cutthroat business this is and how hard it must be for these über-talented people to put themselves out there time and time again…and how unfair to put the blame of a show’s failure on one single person – In a business where an estimated 70-80% of shows do not make it past the first season…still better than the best batting average there is (earning a hit only slightly more than 36% of the time) or the odds of opening a successful restaurant (only about 60% last three years)…but let’s have a little perspective…

    Laura Benanti is destined for so much greatness – she is an extraordinary singer, has a rediculous sense of humor, and is just an all around amazing human being…so I wish her only the best on her new endeavor and I hope that she will be able to defy the odds because of her talent and her persistence through what is clearly a business that beats you down far more than it boosts you up!!

    Comment by NadineF — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 5:06pm PDT  
  • What you need to be cast in a series these days is a job in a previous series. Even if it was canceled because they sucked.

    I’m really tired of seeing the same old people though. I know there are other actors, I see them serving lunch to people.

    Comment by Joe B. — Wednesday March 14, 2012 @ 5:51pm PDT  
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