Friday, January 23, 2009

LA Times: American Dunkleman is 'hilarious'

We told you yesterday about American Dunkleman, the great new scripted comedy series starring American Idol veteran Brian Dunkleman. Our pals at Frozen Pictures have just begun shopping the project, and today the Los Angeles Times ran with the story-- and posted the video clip-- on its Idol Tracker blog:

Los Angeles Times
January 23, 2009
Idol Tracker: What you're watching

The return of Brian Dunkleman

"American Idol's" original black sheep is back. It's hard to remember a time when then-surfer dude Ryan Seacrest shared the stage as one of two hosts, but that's how it was in Season 1 of "American Idol." And while we all know what happened with to the Man Who Became Dick Clark, his vanquished other half has largely disappeared from view -- except for the occasional embittered interview.

Now, as seen in the hilarious trailer above, Brian Dunkleman has returned, shooting a series about the travails of being the Man Who Did Not Become Ryan Seacrest. The press release from Frozen Pictures, the show's producer, explains:

"American Dunkleman" is a fictional account of the actor-comic's life, based on his reputation for having made "the biggest mistake in the history of show business" when he walked away from his role as co-host of "American Idol" after its first season in 2002 (Dunkleman's cohost was Ryan Seacrest).

The series follows the fictional Dunkleman as he tries to work his way back to the television industry, embarrassing himself and disappointing his friends while constantly being reminded that he "could have been a millionaire" had he stuck with "Idol."

The episodic arc runs from realism to absurdity, including Dunkleman's misadventures hosting a cable reality pilot; disaster in a stand-up comedy appearance when he offends an audience of young teens; his surprise at a convention event when he's forced to host an Idol-like contest among "furries"; a desperate decision to become a patient on a Hollywood rehab reality show (even though he doesn't have a substance abuse problem); an embarrassing mugshot; and, in a twist, a stalking by a deranged celebrity.

The series pitch tape is running at AmericanDunkleman.com and other industry outlets.

Series was created and written by Brett Hudson and Burt Kearns of Frozen Pictures. Their credits include the 2005 Fox movie comedy "Cloud 9," Showtime's "My First Time" and "The Seventh Python," the Neil Innes film bio now making the film festival circuit.

"Brian Dunkleman is a great comic actor," says Hudson. "He's a very self-aware personality who's got the timing, the face -- and the name -- for comedy. Dunkleman (the character) fits somewhere between Rodney Dangerfield and Charlie Brown. The audience can't help but identify with and root for him."

Check back next week when we hope to bring you an interview with the one-man lost colony of Idol Nation, Brian Dunkleman.

-- Richard Rushfield

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