How Jonah Hill Ended Up With an Animated Fox Show

Actor fulfills lifelong dream of joining “The Simpsons” network

Last Updated: May 17, 2011 @ 9:52 AM

Jonah Hill is a lifelong fan of the Fox animated hit "The Simpsons," so imagine how stoked he is that not only has Fox picked up his new animated sitcom "Allen Gregory," but that it will lead out of "The Simpsons" this fall.

The 27-year-old "Get Him to The Greek" star created the show, writing the original script for the pilot episode, and will provide the voice of the lead character and serve as an executive producer.

"My dream growing up was to write for 'The Simpsons,'" he told TheWrap on Monday night, just after Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced that "Allen Gregory" would air Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. "I can't believe the show is going to be on following 'The Simpsons.' It's like a dream come true."

Hill penned the script for "Allen Gregory," with the help of other writers a little more than two years ago. The show is about a pretentious 7-year old boy who sees himself as wise and mature beyond his years, intelligent, sophisticated, worldly, artistic and a romantic. The show follows him as he leaves the safety of his father's homeschooling to attend a public elementary school with kids his own age. He has a rivalry with his second grade teacher, a unique relationship with his 68-year old female principal, and a desire to be friends with the school's most popular kid. Hill's co-creators include Andrew Mogul and Jarrad Paul, but Fox's Reilly describes Hill as being involved in all aspects of the show. "He's very hands on, like a well-oiled machine," Reilly told TheWrap.

Hill said he was offered an opportunity a few years ago to provide a voice in an animated pilot for Fox, but he turned that opportunity down. He rationalized that if he did the voice, he might never get the opportunity to create his own animated show. Then fate took over. With the script complete, Hill happened to sit next to Reilly at a Los Angeles Lakers game one night.

Reilly recalls: "We were sitting together at the game about two years ago and he told me he had written a script for an animated show and wondered if I would take a look at it. I read it and it was the real deal. I loved it. We made very few changes to the script and used his title for the show. We started shooting episodes last Fall and have about seven done so far. Hill said that although he wrote the initial script on spec, he always hoped it would land at Fox. Reilly was impressed enough that about three or four months ago he signed Hill to a "first look" deal with the network, and Hill is now working on a live-action sitcom script.

Despite his newfound career in writing animated and live-action shows, Hill is not abandoning his acting career. He and his co-creators are immersed in writing episodes for "Allen Gregory" out of "Allen Gregory" offices he describes as his "Bat Cave." But he's still looking at acting roles as he works.