Kiwi star flying higher with prime-time US gig

By Nicholas Jones

The new role puts Rhys Darby - pictured with wife Rosie - on to a leading American television network. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
The new role puts Rhys Darby - pictured with wife Rosie - on to a leading American television network. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Rhys Darby's US star continues to rise - his new comedy will be screened in prime time on a major network.

The Kiwi comedian will play a supporting role in the new comedy How To Be a Gentleman, which the CBS network - the largest in the United States - this week said would be part of its autumn schedule.

How To Be a Gentleman is described as a comedy about a refined newspaper columnist and his unrefined personal trainer.

The Flight of the Conchords star will play the brother-in-law of the lead, who will be played by David Hornsby.

The show has been allotted a high-profile slot, sandwiched between Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, the new drama from Lost creator JJ Abrams.

CBS has been shaken by the departure of Charlie Sheen from its premier series Two and a Half Men. The network has confirmed a ninth series of the show, with Ashton Kutcher playing a new character.

But it will be hoping other comedies, including How To Be a Gentleman, will perform strongly to counter any possible ratings slump at the top.

Darby will be joined by actors who have held long-standing roles on major American television shows.

They include Kevin Dillon, best known for his role on Entourage, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known for her role on 24.

The New Zealand comedian has confirmed his involvement in the show but was not able to comment until he had spoken to his US agents.

But yesterday, he said he was excited at the prospect of working on the show.

"It's such a great premise and the cast are amazing. I'm very much looking forward to working with them."

Earlier this week, Darby hinted at the announcement on Facebook: "Good morning gang. Should be an interesting week this week. Stay tuned for travel news."

Fellow comedian Jeremy Corbett told the Herald that he was thrilled for Darby.

"Just to get that door open, to even be involved in a pilot, is a major, major accomplishment.

"But to do it with the calibre of people that he's doing it with ... it's incredible, it's just fantastic."

Corbett said a key to Darby's success was his positivity and energy.

Darby is best known for his role as Murray on the Flight of the Conchords HBO series, and has also starred in the films Yes Man and The Boat that Rocked.

- NZ Herald

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