'Stupid' Is As NBC Does


Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the auteurs of such comedies as "There's Something About Mary" and "Shallow Hal," are bringing their gross-yet-sweet sensibility to NBC.

The brothers are teaming with "The Office" producer Ben Silverman and former "Friends" writer Wil Calhoun for a pilot called "I'm With Stupid." Adapted from a British show of the same name, it tells the story of a homeless man who strikes up a friendship with a wheelchair-bound man and moves into the group home where he lives.

Calhoun, whose credits also include "Sons & Daughters" and "What I Like About You," will write the pilot, the showbiz trade papers say. Peter Farrelly will direct it; both brothers, along with Calhoun, Silverman, Bradley Thomas and Kenton North, will serve as executive producers. North is a producer of the British show.

The pairing of show and producers seems like a fairly natural one. The Farrellys have featured disabled actors in several of their films, sometimes making jokes at their expense but more often poking fun at the able-bodied characters around them. The British version of "I'm With Stupid," which concluded its first season earlier this month, has been praised for its honest portrayal of people with disabilities.

Silverman has become the go-to producer for adaptations of foreign shows on American networks. Although his company, Reveille, is also responsible for the American version of "Coupling," Silverman has balanced the ledger with "The Office," which also began as a BBC show, and ABC's "Ugly Betty," which is based on a hugely popular telenovela.

The Farrellys' most recent film was last year's "Fever Pitch." Their other credits include "Stuck on You" and "Kingpin," and they're working on a long-in-development Three Stooges project for the big screen as well.

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