Denis Leary was a star of FX’s first-generation rise of original dramas through seven seasons of Rescue Me.
In 2015, Leary will return to a leading role on the cable network as the creator and star of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, ordered today by FX to a 10-episode first season.
Filmed in NYC, it’ll co-star John Corbett, Elizabeth Gillies, Elaine Hendrix and comedian Bobby Kelly.
From the official announcement by Leary: “I am extremely elated at the opportunity to once again be working with John Landgraf and the fine executive talent over at FX. They have a great platform for comedy, an award-winning marketing team and an amazing new Nespresso machine in the conference room. The Gran Maestria C520 Platinum? Get this: it heats the cup! Also, doing this show with FX will allow me to live one of my last show-business dreams: Emmy-winner Peter Tolan will be playing my gay stepdad. I know what you’re thinking – isn’t Peter just a few years older than Denis? In fact, we are the same exact age. I’m just prettier.”
It’s centered on “Johnny Rock” (Leary), a middle-aged rock ‘n roller who desperately wanted to be rich and famous. So far, he’s 0 for 2. As the magnificently talented lead singer of New York’s legendary early 90’s band The Heathens, Johnny was on his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. His best friend “Flash” (Corbett) was being called the next number one lead guitar player on planet earth. The critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out.
But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And oh yeah – he slept with Flash’s wife. And his bass player’s fiancé. The band broke up the same day their first and only record was released. 25 years later Johnny is trying to get the band back together. Why? Because as his soon-to-be-ex manager Ira Feinbaum tells him: “Johnny, you’re 50, broke and completely anonymous. In rock ‘n roll you know what that makes you? A bartender.” 25 years later the sex might be harder to find, the drugs might be Luvox and Crestor and Cialis – but rock ‘n roll will never die. It just has a bigger prostate.
Leary wrote the pilot, directed by Michael Blieden. Leary, his company Apostle and partner Jim Serpico are Executive Producers, with FX Productions and Fox Television Studios producing. It will be filmed on location in New York City.
The show will feature original music and occasional guest appearances by actual rock stars.
Leary, Serpico and Apostle currently have two half-hour comedies on the air in production with Fox Television Studios, Sirens on USA, and Maron on IFC.
FX’s other big new series for 2015, meanwhile, is The Comedians starring Billy Crystal, Josh Gad and others.