Actor, screenwriter and filmmaker Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite," "Blades of Glory") will star in and executive-produce "Gulliver Quinn" (working title), a comedy series pilot for Disney XD, it was announced by Adam Bonnett, senior vice president of original programming for Disney Channels.
Standing apart from the pack, the multiplatform Disney XD serves kids age 6-14, especially boys, with stories and characters designed to connect with them, challenge them, convey a sense of accomplishment and inspire them on their journey.
The "Gulliver Quinn" script was written by Dan Kopelman ("Malcolm in the Middle") who executive-produces the pilot along with Stan Rogow ("Lizzie McGuire") and Heder. Rob Schrab ("The Sarah Silverman Program") will direct.
Full casting is under way now for the single-camera production, which will begin this summer.
"It's an absolute coup for Disney XD to be working with Jon - he is a tremendous comedic talent, and Dan Kopelman's brilliant script is the perfect project to showcase his quirky sense of humor," said Bonnett. "Bringing in Jon and his creative team, Dan and Rob, and our longtime pal, Stan, illustrates our ongoing commitment to building a world class slate of programming for Disney XD's core boy audience."
Set in present day, the comedy follows Gulliver Quinn, a grown man enrolled in the seventh grade after his family returns from a 15-year research expedition (where they lived in a cave in remote northwest India). Mom and dad pursued their long-held goal, which was creating a documentary film on a rare tortoise, and Gulliver grew up acquiring awesome skills such as lightning-quick reflexes and the ability to see in the dark.
Now with a son in his late 20s, the family has come back to its suburban home, its 1996 décor, years of stacked-up mail, and a 28-and-three-quarters-year-old son who needs to finally graduate seventh grade.
At school, Gulliver makes a few friends - and a few enemies - and joins a street hockey team. But his troubles have only just begun, because the principal is no fan, and his childhood crush is now the school nurse (and due to budget cuts, head of the history department).
The pilot is a production of Turtle Rock Productions, Inc.
Disney XD is a basic cable channel and multi-platform brand showcasing a mix of live-action and animated programming for kids (ages 6-14), hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humor. Disney XD branded content spans television, online, mobile and VOD platforms. The programming includes series, movies and short-form, as well as sports-themed programming developed with ESPN.
In the U.S., Disney XD is seen on a 24-hour, advertiser-supported network that reaches more than 78 million households via its basic cable and satellite affiliates.