Showtime Orders ‘Trending Down’ Pilot Starring Oscar Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Showtime has ordered the pilot Trending Down starring Oscar Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as Thom Payne, an older man learning how to survive in a youth-obsessed culture he helped to create. Kathryn Hahn (Revolutionary Road) will star as his wife, Lee Payne.

Created, written and executive produced by author and This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander, Trending Down is a dark comedy that will take a scathing look at youth culture through the eyes of Thom as he battles to stay relevant when his advertising agency is taken over. To make matters worse, the takeover occurs on his birthday at a time when he’s beginning to realize his anti-depressants and ED pills are interfering with one another, leaving him unhappier than ever. The one thing Thom does have is his wife Lee, who, like him, despises everything, and yet they still love each other.

“We are taking a markedly unconventional approach to process and content – a cross between the BBC series model and a theater workshop. And a meth lab,” said Auslander in a statement. “I wasn’t particularly interested in doing TV, and fortunately, neither was Phil. When SHOWTIME said they weren’t either, we knew we had something. We don’t know what that is, but at least we know what it isn’t.”

Hoffman’s credits include his Oscar winning turn in Capote, Moneyball, Doubt, The Savages, Charlie Wilson’s War and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Meanwhile, Hahn has appeared in Parks and Recreation, Girls and Hung, as well as the feature films Revolutionary Road, Wanderlust and Our Idiot Brother.

Trending Down‘s pilot is set to start filming this Fall. It joins Showtime’s two drama pilots Vatican and The Affair, which are also in contention for a place on Showtime’s schedule.