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Valderrama cast in comedy The Emancipation of Ernesto

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 19th 2008 1:05PM
valderrama"This is the first script I've read that made me excited to come back to TV," said the actor about his latest project. The actor is Wilmer Valderrama; the project is a Fox comedy pilot called The Emancipation of Ernesto.

Wilmer, who is best-known from his eight seasons on That '70s Show -- a supporting player on the Fox mainstay -- will be front and center on this new one-hour, single camera comedy. He's Ernesto, and Ernesto is a quirky character.

The show is citing two 1979 films -- for starters -- as reminiscent of The Emancipation of Ernesto: Steve Martin's The Jerk, as well as Chauncey Gardiner, the Peter Seller's character in Being There. Why? Well, it's the Ernesto character.

He's sort of an innocent dolt who is thrust into the world on a quest. He is looking for his father and the love of his life, and searches Los Angeles, unprepared and oblivious to the realities and issues in modern L.A. Somehow, things always work out for Ernesto.

Emily Kapnek has written the script, and according to Susan Levinson, Senior VP for Fox development, "The writing jumped off the page; it has a really unique original tone. It was a mix of real emotion with hard comedy. She has crafted a character we have never seen before." We may have never seen this before, but it was Levinson who said it reminded her of Being There and even suggested a bit of Forrest Gump in there. Have we left any other innocent dolts out?

Thanks to Valderrama's success with Fox on That '70s Show, the one hour pilot has been greenlighted. Ernesto's backstory has him brought up in a Mexican prison, before landing a job at a Twinkie factory. It's there that the pilot commences. Like other recent fanciful -- and successful -- TV comedies, My Name Is Earl and Pushing Daisies, Ernesto will included voiceover narration.

If The Emancipation of Ernesto is as good as described, Fox could be looking for it to appear in earnest, i.e. as a series, in early 2009.

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dj

What's the one problem with the show? Wilmer Valderrama is in it.

June 19 2008 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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