EXCLUSIVE: Showtime is developing Jonah Kills, a UK-based comedy created and written by Clem Garritty. It hails from Jax Media UK, which commissioned up-and-comer Garritty to generate four scripts before the comedy was pitched to Showtime. There is no work currently being done on the scripts but I hear the intention is to cast and film a pilot after the strikes, and veteran TV director Iain B. MacDonald (Poker Face, Shantaram) has been tapped to direct it.
Jonah Kills follows a gay man living in London and trying to find love through sex, only to discover that every person he has ever slept with has died in a freak accident.
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This marks MacDonald’s return to Showtime where he was a director on some of the network’s standout comedy series of the past decade, including Episode, for which he received an Emmy nomination, Shameless and Black Monday.
Showtime, which is in transition as it is becoming closely integrated with Paramount+ with a new executive team under Chris McCarthy, has been looking to reinvent its comedy brand. The network doesn’t have current comedy series. It picked up Season 2 of Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman’s Uncoupled, starring Neal Patrick Harris, following its cancellation by Netflix. A high-profile new entry, Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie’s The Curse, in which the duo stars opposite Emma Stone, set to premiere at the New York Film Festival.
Imagine-owned Jax Media, known for being able to efficiently produce comedy series, also has a history at Showtime where it was behind Desus & Mero. The company’s portfolio also includes Emily in Paris, Russian Doll, Search Party, Broad City, and A Black Lady Sketch Show.
Garritty is the Artistic Director of comedy company Kill the Beast and directed all three of the company’s shows, The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, He Had Hairy Hands and Don’t Wake the Damp, all of which have toured the UK and since transferred to The Soho Theatre. He also co-wrote and directed John Henry Falle’s The Story Beast, which was nominated for the Fosters Comedy Award at The Edinburgh Fringe. Alongside writing and directing, Garritty has a side business, Swamp Motel, where he creates virtual and immersive experiences.
MacDonald is repped by WME, 3 Arts, and attorney Robby Koch. Garritty recently signed with WME and is also repped by Kaplan Perrone.