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Stiller to Direct TV Comedy Starring Taylor

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Ben Stiller is teaming with CBS for a comedy project to star his wife, actress Christine Taylor.

Stiller is set to direct and executive produce the pilot and to recur on the potential series, to be produced by CBS Paramount Network Television.

CBS has given a put pilot commitment to the as-yet-untitled project, to be written by Ajay Sahgal, and is fast-tracking it for a potential summer production as part of its push to aggressively court new projects outside of the traditional development cycle.

The comedy, being eyed as single-camera, is based on Taylor's life.

"She is a small-town girl who has found her way into Hollywood but still retains a lot of the values and humility (of her upbringing)," CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said. "There are times when she is befuddled by her status -- being an actress married to a big movie star."

On the show, Taylor's character will juggle her career and her family with a lot of relatives from her hometown still very involved in her life. Stiller will recur as her husband.

Taylor and Sahgal are familiar faces at CBS. Taylor has starred in several pilots for the network, including "The Commuters" and "Harry's Girl."

"We love her," Tassler said. "And we are over the moon" about working with Stiller, she said.

Sahgal penned CBS' comedy pilot "The Angriest Man in Suburbia" this past development season, which was produced by Sony Pictures TV.

For Stiller, the deal marks the most significant series commitment since the actor's Emmy-winning 1992 comedy/variety show on Fox.

CBS Par Network TV president David Stapf said he and his team had been pursuing Sahgal for a deal at the studio. When they heard about his project with Stiller and Taylor, the studio jumped at the chance to be involved.

"We have been fans of Ajay for quite some time, and we were especially impressed by his ('Angriest Man') script at CBS," Stapf said. "We're also gigantic fans of Ben and Christine, and the opportunity to have Ben this much creatively involved with Ajay is terrific."

In September, Stiller is slated to begin shooting the DreamWorks feature "Seven Day Itch," from the writing-directing team of Peter and Bobby Farrelly. He next stars in "Night at the Museum" for 20th Century Fox and director Shawn Levy.

On the small screen, he most recently did several episodes of Fox's Emmy-winning comedy "Arrested Development."

Taylor, who also did multiple episodes of "Arrested," most recently starred on ABC's comedy pilot "52 Fights" this development season.

On the big screen, she will next be seen in "License to Wed."

Stiller, Taylor and Sahgal are repped by UTA.

Stiller is additionally repped by attorney Lawrence Rose of Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.

Taylor is additionally repped by attorney Patti Felker of Nelson Felker Toczek Davis.


Nellie Andreeva writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

For more news from The Hollywood Reporter, click here.

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