If at first you don't succeed.....
Nathan Lane has signed to star in his second sitcom. The project, titled "Life of the Party," comes from writer-producer Jeff Richman ("Frasier"), and will be co-produced by 20th Century Fox TV and CBS.
The Producers star will team up with his sometime stage director Jerry Zaks (Forum, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor) who will helm the sitcom's pilot episode. Whether the pilot will be picked up as a series won't be known until CBS announces its autumn slate of shows in May.
"Party" will feature Lane as a former television star who finds himself elected to a seat in Congress.
Lane's first television gig, the 1998-99 sitcom "Encore! Encore!," was launched with much ballyhoo, but folded after less than a season. The show—which also featured a fish-out-of-water set-up—had Lane playing a retired opera star who goes home to run his family's California vineyard. At the time, Lane's career was on the ascendent, fueled by several hit Broadway shows, and star turns in the films "The Lion King" and "The Birdcage." His career has hit another peak in the wake of his tour de force performance in the smash hit musical, The Producers.
In other news, Jerry Zaks signed a television deal to direct not only "Life of the Party" but the pilot episode of another sitcom, "Julie Lydecker."