About a year ago, Gerry Dee, comedian and star of the successful CBC television show Mr. D, got an email from actor and producer Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock). He was interested in adapting Mr. D.
“The email basically said, ‘we just watched the show, we love it, let’s talk,’” says Dee. “So we started the process, and got the show in front of CBS, and they want to do a version based on our original series. It will probably be different, but it’s still very exciting.”
The official confirmation that Arnett’s production company, Electric Avenue, had successfully sold the pilot to CBS came through on October 30, but the eventual direction of the show is unclear. There’s still plenty to do before the show even hits American TV screens.
Although CBS has ordered a pilot script, the network will still need to decide whether or not to make the script into an actual episode. If it clears that hurdle, and they like the pilot, they’ll green light a series, which will need a successful start to stay on the air.
When Halifax Magazine spoke to Dee in early November, he confirmed that he and Mr. D executive director Michael Volpe will be executive directors for the American version, and the show will be based on the Canadian Mr. D. Everything else is still up in the air.
“We’re still at such an early stage. It’s flattering, but I’m trying not to get too excited about anything because there’s no point,” says Dee. “In every stage of my stand-up career, I’ve had moments where I’ve thought, ‘this is it,’ and it never is. But they’re all little things and each little thing leads to the next.”
Dee still has a long wait ahead of him, no matter what happens, he feels like his career is in a good place. “This might be a step to something else, but I’m very comfortable with my career in Canada and I’m looking forward to what comes next here,” he says.
And he’ll have no problem keeping busy while he waits. In addition to his continued work on Mr. D, he’s moving his stand-up from the theatres into the arenas with a new tour in early 2016. His Halifax show is booked for May 27, 2016 at the Scotiabank Centre. Tickets are on sale now.
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