FX Picks Up Comedy Series WILFRED Starring Elijah Wood for 13 Episodes

     October 25, 2010

Back in the day, Elijah Wood starred in a big screen adaptation of the classic series Flipper. It’s hard to believe that the young actor would late become the people-mauling villain Kevin in Sin City, but there you have it. Now it looks like Elijah Wood is kind of going full circle with his career as FX announced today, via press release, he’s starring in the original comedy series Wilfred (a remake of the Australian comedy series of the same name) of which the network just ordered 13 episodes to air. The series will follow Ryan (Wood) as an introvert who struggles to find social and professional happiness, until he meets Wilfred (Jason Gann, the show’s creator and star of the Australian version), a cross between an Australian Shepherd dog and Russell Crowe on a bender. Confused? Hit the jump for a bit of clarification.

Basically, while the world sees Wilfred as your everyday canine companion, Ryan sees him as a man dressed in a dog suit. In reality, Wilfred is Ryan’s alter-ego intent on pushing him out of his isolated shell. His love interest comes in the form of Jenna (played by Californication’s Fiona Gublemann) who is actually Wilfred’s owner. This oughta be quite a riot. FX nailed Louis CK’s comedy series Louie (not to mention pleasing audiences every season with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and it sounds like Wood’s first starring role on TV could be on par to repeat its success. David Zuckerman (Family Guy, American Dad) is executive producing the series and also wrote the pilot while Randall Einhorn (Modern Family) will direct the pilot. I honestly can’t wait to see how this turns out. How about you?

Here’s the press release and a few images:

LOS ANGELES, October 25, 2010 – FX is adding more original comedy to its programming slate, ordering 13 episodes of Wilfred, a live-action comedy series starring Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Jason Gann, which is based on the critically acclaimed Australian series of the same title, announced Nick Grad, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, FX Networks.

Wilfred was adapted for FX by David Zuckerman (Family Guy, American Dad), who wrote the pilot and will serve as Executive Producer/Showrunner. Randall Einhorn (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family) directed the pilot episode.

Wood stars as “Ryan,” an introvert who struggles to find social and professional happiness, until he meets “Wilfred” (played by Gann), who Zuckerman describes as part Australian Shepherd, part Russell Crowe on a bender. The world sees Wilfred as a dog; Ryan sees Wilfred as a man dressed in a dog suit.  Wilfred is Ryan’s alter-ego intent on pushing Ryan out of his shell. Fiona Gublemann (Californication) co-stars as “Jenna,” Ryan’s attractive next door neighbor and owner of Wilfred. Wifred marks Wood’s first starring role in regular series television. Gann co-created and played the title character in the Australian version of Wilfred.

“We loved how well the pilot turned out, and we were blown away by the chemistry between Elijah Wood and Jason Gann,” said Grad. “It’s a very unique concept and we think David Zuckerman has a great take on it.”

Executive Producers are Rich Frank, Paul Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park, along with  Joe Connor and Ken Conner of Renegade, producers of the Australian version of Wilfred. Gann will serve as Co-Executive Producer. The series is produced by FX Productions.

Wilfred will be the fourth new comedy added to the FX schedule in the past 18 months. Wilfred joins the critically acclaimed Louie, Archer, The League, and FX signature hit It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on the network’s comedy roster.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 96 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series, an established film library of acquired box-office hit movies, and an impressive lineup of acquired hit series.