Showtime has handed a pilot order to Trending Down, a new comedy project from Shalom Auslander which is described as a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture, and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter. Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and acclaimed actress Kathryn Hahn have been cast as the male and female leads; with Hoffman playing Thom Payne, and Hahn playing his wife Lee. Trending Down joins The Vatican and The Affair both of which received pilot orders at Showtime earlier this year.
Created by Auslander and developed by Ken Kwapis, Trending Down follows Thom Payne, a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over. On his birthday, Thom Payne gets the gift of insignificance and also a new boss. He suspects his ED pills are interfering with his anti-depressants, leaving him with neither happiness nor… happiness. In a culture that reveres youth – a culture he helped create – Thom needs to figure out what his purpose is now that he’s halfway to death and nobody cares what he thinks. Because in a world where any Kardashian is trending up, perhaps the wise among us would heartily embrace trending down. John Cameron Mitchell is attached to direct. The executive producers are Shalom Auslander, Ken Kwapis. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff.
“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 Shalom Auslander. “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.”