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Apple, Always Sunny pair link for drama

Charlie Day (right) and Rob McElhenney (centre) in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

US tech giant Apple has given a straight-to-series order to a scripted comedy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia pair Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney.

The as-yet-untitled half-hour show will star McElhenney, who will also write and executive produce with Day through their RCG Productions label.

The series will be set in a video game studio and is being produced by Lionsgate-3 Arts Entertainment and Ubisoft. Michael Rotenberg and Nicholas Frenkel will serve as executive producers for 3 Arts alongside Gérard Guillemot, Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik at Ubisoft.

Day and McElhenney are best known for starring in long-running FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which they also write and executive produce. McElhenney co-created the show with fellow star Glenn Howerton.

Apple has pledged to invest more than US$1bn in programming for its new platform. The company’s recent commissions include a half-hour anthology series exploring immigration in the US, a drama based on the real-life story of a pre-teen news reporter and an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ bestselling novel Shantaram.

It has also ordered shows including Are You Sleeping from Reese Witherspoon’s prodco Hello Sunshine and Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg, while it recently agreed a multi-year partnership with Oprah Winfrey as it taps into high-profile entertainment talent.

Most recently, the company picked up the rights to adapt Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film Time Bandits into a TV series for its forthcoming service, details of which remain largely under wraps.

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