Another familiar face is joining the pilot of Showtime’s Happyish, a series that was originally set to star the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. (A pilot featuring Hoffman in the show’s lead role was filmed in 2013; the network has replaced Hoffman with Steve Coogan in its new iteration of Happyish.)
The pilot’s latest addition: Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Ellen Barkin, seen most recently on the small screen as The New Normal‘s staunchly right-wing, completely politically incorrect grandmother. Showtime says that Barkin will be playing Dani Kirschenbloom, “a headhunter who works closely with Thom Payne (Coogan). Dani harbors no illusions about the advertising industry, or life, and is best described as the sardonic prophet-philosopher of the project.”
Happyish, created by Shalom Auslander, follows Payne, a middle-aged man struggling to find his place in a world in which he feels out of touch. Showtime calls it “a scathing examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place.” Kathryn Hahn and Bradley Whitford also star.
The half-hour pilot will be filmed in New York City in December; prior to Hoffman’s death, the network had ordered 10 episodes of the series’ previous iteration.