Paul Scheer is the hardest working man in television. With two hit TV shows on the air and countless guest spots on TV's biggest sitcoms, he's got four more big TV projects coming soon (and that's on top of a few movies and his first comic book for Marvel, which will release this month).
"I'm just trying to make ends meet before the baby comes — we gotta pay for that baby's crib!," Scheer said with a laugh, just days before he and his wife, fellow Hollywood multi-tasker June Diane Raphael, welcomed their first child. "While people still give me the opportunity to do it, I figure take as many opportunities as I can."
Scheer has gone from being a very recognizable "that guy from that thing" type to an in-demand TV powerhouse, on- and off-camera, working with some of the biggest names in the business. But none of Scheer's current or upcoming projects are on network television, and his sitcom pilot that ABC purchased last fall is not going to series. ("The ABC comedy, sadly, is dead. Like all the pilots that have come before, it was a very fun experience, but it did not make it into the final running," Scheer confirmed.) But he'd rather be doing more offbeat cable projects, anyway, if it means he can do several of them at once — and end them after a few solid seasons.
"Yeah, I think I've learned a lot from the British people that way," Scheer joked, adding praise for a Brit who's done it right. "Steve Coogan, who I'm such a huge fan of — Alan Partridge has been around for 20 years, but it's not been 20 consistent years of Alan Partridge. That's the good model: Revisit it when you feel that there's some reason to do it, not just because you can. That's why I don't want to work in network TV all the time — on network TV, you're locked in for seven years. If you're on cable, you have the ability to do other things."
So as "The League" preps to begin shooting Season 6 for FX, it's understandable that he's concerned about wrapping it up before they overstay their TV welcome. The fate of his Adult Swim crime procedural spoof "NTSF:SD:SUV::" is in his hands, and since he wasn’t thinking there was much more to tell, they're taking a break, pretty indefinitely.
But he's got a "Real Housewives" parody show for Hulu, a new comedy special with his old "Human Giant" pal Rob Huebel, a new "G.I. Joe"-inspired cartoon for Adult Swim, and an HBO series that he describes as "True Detective"-esque… but a documentary-style comedy. We're in.
Here are updates and details on all of Paul Scheer's TV projects:
"The League" (FXX)
"'The League' will be doing Season 6 — we're starting up this summer. One of the bummers… not a bummer, but one of the things about 'The League' is we've done it for six years! You're doing the same stuff over and over, and even though it's fun and the cast is fun, I think it's always fun to try to do different stuff so you don't feel like you're just staying in the same place all the time. The whole cast right now is up in the air, figuring out what we want to do. We love working together and FX treats us really great, but… we'll see. You don't want to be doing stuff when it just feels like, 'Oh, they're still doing that?'"
A comedy special
"Rob Huebel and I just shot a comedy special on a glass bus, and we'll be announcing when that's going to be in a little bit."
"The Hotwives of Orlando" (Hulu)
"The cast is amazing. It's a cast that I don't feel like we would get if we were to do this on any other platform besides Hulu. Kristen Schaal, Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Andrea Savage, Tymberlee Hill, and Danielle Schneider. Plus Joey McIntyre, Stephen Tobolowsky, Weird Al Yankovic, Matt Besser, Jerry Minor… everyone in this cast is so good. … I am the Matty Green character. I make an appearance at the end of every episode plugging my show, 'The Hotwives Cooldown,' which you'll never see, and then there's a reunion special as our last episode."
A new "G.I. Joe"-inspired cartoon (Adult Swim)
"I'm working on a brand new cartoon for Adult Swim, which is kind of like a throwback to 'G.I. Joe,' but it's like, 'What would Cobra be doing now?' They're bankrupt and trying to make a go in this new world where villains aren't necessarily needed."
A "True Detective"-esque docu-comedy series (HBO)
"I'm working on a show for HBO… it's a documentary-comedy series. I don't think I can tell you the premise just yet, but it's really cool and it's with the same team that we did 'NTSF' and 'Childrens Hospital' and 'Burning Love' with… the same kind of group of people. The cool thing is there's something built into it where the cast would definitely rotate, so it would feel fresh every season if we get to make the pilot of it, which would be really fun. I guess, without giving away too much, it's kind of like a 'True Detective'-esque anthology series. I'm super, super excited about it."
"NTSF:SD:SUV::" (Adult Swim)
"We took a break on 'NTSF' this season… I felt like it was a good run. It was super fun: We did 38 episodes and we finished up in London, and I was super psyched about that. And now I wanted to try something different, so I went over to HBO and I wanted to do this cartoon. We may revisit 'NTSF,' but right now it's just kind of… it's not over, but I have no plans to do anything with it right now. I get tired of doing things for too long. With 'Human Giant,' we did two seasons; with 'NTSF,' we did three… that's why I keep on trying to do stuff before it's, like, the only thing. It was fun and we got out on one of our best episodes. When I was sitting down to write a new season, I was like, 'I don't know if I've got anything right now. Let me explore something else, and if I get inspired later on…' And that's the cool thing about Adult Swim — they're like, 'Yeah, if you have an idea later, come back and do it.' Tim & Eric have done that… I want to just keep on doing that in my career, not get too pigeonholed into one thing. I think you lose that passion for things after a while."