The politically themed pilot is written by Zev Borow (‘Chuck’).
Hulu is set to find comedy in a politically divided world.
The streamer is near a deal for comedy pilot Kansas City and, ahead of its official pickup, has locked in John Slattery, Allison Tolman and Rafe Spall to star.
From writer Zev Borow (Chuck), Kansas City is set in a modern U.S. riven by cultural and political divisions so much so that it has chosen to split itself into two nations. One city, however, was too evenly divided to align with either side so Kansas City split in two: the liberal East K.C. and conservative West K.C., with a wall built to divide the two. The comedy will explore the rivalry between the two.
Spall (The Big Short, Life of Pi, Hot Fuzz, Roadies) stars as Ben Graham, a citizen of East K.C. who has wearily resigned himself to only being able to see his 15-year-old daughter, Clarissa — who lives in West K.C. — a few hours a day until he is approached about being a spy.
Slattery (Mad Men, Spotlight) will play Ellis Brookmeyer, Ben’s former father-in-law and the last mayor of unified Kansas City who is now the leading funder of West K.C.’s secret police who will stop at nothing to bring East K.C. to its knees.
Tolman (Fargo, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) will play Tabatha Brookmeyer, Ben’s ex-wife and the mother of their daughter. She left Ben and East K.C. to live with their daughter in West K.C. Her motivations then, and now, are complicated — as is her fraught relationship with her father, Ellis.
Borow will pen the script and exec produce the Sony Pictures Television single-camera comedy alongside Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. Rhys Thomas is on board to direct the pilot, which is near a formal order at Hulu.
Kanas City arrives as Hulu is refining its approach to scripted programming following the breakout success of Emmy winner The Handmaid’s Tale. The streamer continues to look for programming that can strike a chord and be part of the cultural conversation. Hulu’s comedy roster includes Future Man (also from Sony) and PEN15.
Spall is repped by Troika and UTA; Slattery is with Gersh and Untitled; and Tolman is with UTA and Odenkirk Provissiero. Borow, whose credits include Lethal Weapon, Mad Dogs and Forever, is with UTA and Morris Yorn.