While Will Forte will never lose his associations with Saturday Night Live, and his explosive character MacGruber, the actor shifted gears for last year’s black-and-white drama Nebraska from Alexander Payne. But don’t think he’s sticking to serious roles, as Fox has just given a full series order to Forte’s sitcom The Last Man on Earth, a project they acquired after a heated network bidding war near the end of last year. I feel like the number of sex-related jokes that will spring forth from this series may actually break TV.
Luckily, Forte has a pretty strong team behind him already, as he will be executive producing along with The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and their Lord Miller company’s president of television Seth Cohen. Lord and Miller will also be directing the series, according to THR, which means this could be the best new series whenever it eventually airs. The filmmaking duo also directed the pilot for fellow SNL alum Andy Samberg’s Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which took home the Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy. These guys could direct animal porn and I’d watch it with an even more intent eye than usual.
Speaking of “watching,” one of Forte’s earlier sci-fi creds was the abysmally stupid The Watch from a few years back. In all honesty, we don’t even know exactly how scientifically fictional The Last Man on Earth will be, as no real plot points have been released. Obviously the plot itself is invested in a weird futuristic world, but if it just turns into a workplace comedy or something, we’ll back off appropriately. One thing is certain though: we’re definitely hoping this starts up a mini-obsession with Earth having limited supplies of things, so that Brian K. Vaughan’s near-perfect comic series Y: The Last Man will turn into the greatest TV series to ever star a monkey.
Production on The Last Man on Earth is set to begin this summer, with an eye toward a midseason premiere either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2015. Fox has yet to reveal how many episodes they’ll be airing. The network has to get a little smarter now that they’ve completely eschewed the pilot structure moving forward, following the cable model of ordering a full season at a time. This is supposed to mean less duds on the air, but it’s Fox, so who knows.
Forte has wrapped production on his next two projects already. He’ll next star in Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler’s dramatic roommate comedy Trouble Dolls, with the Jennifer Aniston-led comedy Squirrels to the Nuts coming later. The latter is esteemed director Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature in over a decade.
Lord and Miller kind of found fame at the same time as Forte, as they cast him to play Abe Lincoln — a role he quasi-reprised in The LEGO Movie — for their hilarious cult MTV animated series Clone High. Here’s one of Forte’s musical numbers from that show.