Justin Long to Star in ABC Soccer Comedy Pilot

Project comes from Warner Bros. TV

Forget the “Madoff” miniseries, Justin Long is ABC’s newest whistleblower.

The actor will star in a new Warner Bros. TV comedy pilot, which celebrates what most of the world considers football.

Long will play Coach Marty Shumacher, a recent divorcee. Marty is the eternally optimistic manager of a sporting goods store and also the “damn good” head coach of a nationally ranked soccer program — the one true love in his life. Currently recruiting young girls for his dream team, Marty is looking to recreate his amazing rise to the national championships of two years ago.

Long is repped by Gersh.

ABC’s pilot season has been a busy one, for more than just the regular reasons. Yesterday, the network announced that Entertainment President Paul Lee was stepping down.

Channing Dungey is taking over the job, becoming the first African-American to occupy such a high-ranking role. She was previously ABC’s executive vice president of Drama Development, Movies and Miniseries.

The move comes at a tough time for ABC, which is currently sitting in fourth place among the so-called Big 4 broadcast networks. Among the broadcasters, ABC and NBC are tied for biggest season-to-date year over year declines in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers. And NBC has an excuse: the network had the Super Bowl last year.

Read much more about the Disney broadcaster’s ratings struggles here.