Before Hugh Laurie started pulling seven-figure salaries and faking an American accent on House, he was beloved stateside only by Anglophiles who knew him from his long-running Britcom partnership with Stephen Fry. Then David Shore brought him to America, re-invented him as a dramatic actor, gave him a cane, capitalized on his comedic chops by giving him crotchety one-liners, and made him a U.S. household name in a medical series that ran for eight highly-rated seasons.
Can Shore do the same thing for another funny Englishman Steve Coogan? Deadline is reporting that Coogan has been cast as the lead in Shore’s new ABC drama pilot, Doubt. He plays Vincent, an ex-cop turned street-smart, smooth-talking, low-rent lawyer who is “battling demons” while wooing an ex-wife. (Sound familiar?) The role seems perfect for Coogan, who deftly combined unctuousness and down-on-his-luck desperation as radio host Alan Partridge on the influential sitcom I’m Alan Partridge. (Coogan has kept his Partridge persona alive since the proper show was last seen in 2002: a teaser for a long-awaited Alan Partridge movie was recently released.)
Of course, ABC would need to pick up Doubt, but the thought of America being thoroughly Cooganized is a tantalizing prospect. Thoughts?