British actor and writer Steve Coogan is to star in the half-hour comedy pilot Happyish, Showtime announced Wednesday.
Coogan replaces Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was originally cast, but died last February of a heroin overdose at the age of 46.
The pilot for Happyish will be filmed with Coogan in the lead role in New York this December.
The cable network describes the program as "a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place."
Coogan will play Thom Payne, a 44-year-old man "whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25-year-old 'wunderkind' boss arrives, saying things like 'digital,' 'social' and 'viral,'" a synopsis said. "Is he in need of a 'rebranding,' as his mentor insists, or does he just have a 'low joy ceiling,' as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool's errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect."
"Steve's range is astounding -- he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands," the show's creator Shalom Auslander said in a statement.