HOW & WHY, Charlie Kaufman TV Show, Does Not Pass Go At FX

Peter Martin, Managing Editor
It sounded like a triumphant return to television for Charlie Kaufman, the Academy Award-winning writer of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, but 'twas not to be, at least at one U.S. cable broadcaster. 

How & Why, a comedy pilot created by Kaufman and starring Michael Cera, has not been picked up by FX, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and Netflix has turned it down as well. The show is still being shopped around to other networks, with IFC considered a possibility, but the price tag associated with the series is considered a possible stumbling block. 

The series' premise sounded intriguing, revolving around "a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works but is otherwise clueless about life." The great John Hawkes was set to star as that man, "host of the How & Why show at the center of the comedy. After losing his passion for the show, he is replaced by a younger host and relocates to a different town to start a similar program with significantly lower stature." Cera would portray his new boss; Sally Hawkins would co-star. 

Kaufman got his start on television, laboring on shows like The Trouble With Larry (with Bronson Pinchot), Misery Loves Company, and Ned & Stacy before moving into features with Being John Malkovich in 1999. Who knows what he might have created with a weekly show nowadays? Perhaps some brave network will let us all find out. 

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