Update: Well, that doesn’t last long. This guy hasn’t had the best run of luck lately.
The news that Patton Oswalt has been cast as the eccentric millionaire in Paul Simms’ new sitcom is pretty exciting, even though he became available in perhaps the most humiliating way possible (he was in a play that closed during rehearsals, and according to some rumours it was because after the Will & Grace Karen person tried to have him fired). The part appears to be basically Jimmy James under a slightly different name (even the premise of the show, it has been noted, is Simms’ pitch for a re-tooled sixth season of NewsRadio, whre the characters would have moved to New Hampshire). And trying to follow Stephen Root, who turned in one of the greatest comic performances in television history, is a tough job for any performer. But Oswalt is a strong enough personality that he could give this role his own style. Just as Root took a character who, on paper, was supposed to be more of a traditional tough-but-fair sitcom boss, and changed him into more of a wild lunatic, with the writers taking their cues from his crazy inflections.