August 29, 2016 9:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Megalyn Echikunwoke and Utkarsh Ambudkar join ‘SNL’ alum Jay Pharaoh in the pilot, titled ‘White Famous.’
Jamie Foxx’s Showtime pilot White Famous is taking shape.
Megalyn Echikunwoke and Utkarsh Ambudkar have joined the comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The half-hour project focuses on a talented, young African-American comedian named Floyd (Jay Pharaoh) whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross over toward becoming “white famous.”
Echikunwoke will play the yet-to-be-named character of Floyd’s ex-girlfriend, the mother of his son and the love of his life. Her credits also include Showtime’s House of Lies, Arrow as the DC Comics character Vixen, Damien and The 4400. She is repped by UTA.
Ambudkarwill portray Malcolm, Floyd’s frustrated agent who wants his client to do whatever it takes to make it big in the business. His credits include Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Barbershop: The Next Cut as well as recurring roles on The Mindy Project and ABC’s Muppets reboot. He is repped by Gersh and 3 Arts.
White Famous is based on an original idea by Foxx, who is also set to exec produce and recur if the show is picked up to series. Tom Kapinos (Californication) will write the script and also exec produce, along with pilot director Tim Story (Ride Along). Lionsgate TV and Showtime will co-produce.
Showtime ordered the pilot in June, and announced Pharaoh’s casting at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, just three days after it was announced Pharaoh would not be returning to Saturday Night Live for what would have been his seventh season. Showtime also announced the casting of Pharaoh’s now-former SNL colleague Taran Killam as the lead role in another comedic pilot, Mating, from Jason Katims during their TCA presentation.