*TruTV has lined up a pilot order for “Shaq Inq.” (working title), a workplace comedy loosely based on the business empire of Shaquille O’Neal, reports Deadline.com.
The former NBA star-turned-business mogul and occasional actor will topline and executive produce the project, from Mandalay Sports Media, the company launched in 2012 by Peter Guber and Mike Tollin. Tollin will also executive produce the pilot, which was written by feature writer-director Jeremy Garelick (“The Wedding Ringer,” “The Break-Up”). John Fortenberry (“Galavant,” “Instant Mom”) will direct.
Said to be in the tone of HBO’s “Veep,” the scripted comedy follows O’Neal and the team who runs his businesses. The offbeat, yet capable, group juggles the mayhem of managing Shaq’s existing products and endorsements while implementing his latest batch of eccentric and oftentimes brilliant business ideas. While they’re all working towards the same goal, each employee is constantly jockeying for the power and recognition to make the big guy proud.
“There is no denying Shaq’s multifaceted appeal,” said TruTV’s head of programming Chris Linn. Added Tollin, “Shaquille and I have been friends for 20 years, and his growth as a businessman never ceases to amaze and amuse me.”
This is TruTV’s second scripted comedy pilot since Linn took over the network, steering it towards more comedic fare. It joins “Those Who Can’t.”
According to Deadline, TruTV is in need of a ratings turnaround after a -31% decline last year.