written by Nellie Andreeva, Deadline
Community alum Joel McHale has been tapped for the lead of Fox’s straight-to-series workplace comedy, Animal Control. McHale also will executive produce the single-camera show, Fox Entertainment’s first wholly owned live-action comedy.
Animal Control, created by Bob Fisher, Rob Greenberg and Dan Sterling, was developed with McHale in mind for the lead from the start. McHale, who already is in the Fox fold as host of culinary game show Crime Scene Kitchen, was approached to star in Animal Control soon after the project received a straight-to-series order in late July. His deal took months of negotiations to close. Cinematographer Clark Mathis, ASC is set to shoot.
The comedy series follows a group of local Animal Control workers whose lives are complicated by the fact that animals are simple, but humans are not. McHale will play Frank, an opinionated, eccentric Animal Control officer who may not have gone to college but is still the most well-read person in the room. A former cop, Frank tried to expose corruption in his department, but his efforts got him fired, which may explain why he’s so cynical and curmudgeonly. He has an almost superhuman ability to understand animals. Humans…not so much.
“Joel’s acerbic wit and ability to bring a comedic lens to everything he’s involved with make him the perfect person to bring Frank to life,” said Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment of Fox Entertainment.
Animal Control is produced by Fox Entertainment Studios and also executive produced by Fisher, Greenberg and Sterling as well as Tad Quill who came on board after the series was picked up. Quill previously co-created Fox’s The Moodys with Fisher and Greenberg.
McHale will attend Cannes’ Mipcom confab next week in support of the series as it is introduced to international buyers by Fox Entertainment Global, Fox’s newly formed worldwide content sales unit.
Actor, comedian and TV host McHale currently can be seen as Starman in the DC Universe series Stargirl and host of Crime Scene Kitchen. He also will reprise his role as Jeff Winger in the upcoming Community movie, a followup to the popular comedy series of the same name.