The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is a big blow to Showtime's new series roster for 2014. The actor was to take on his first TV series role in the pay cabler's comedy "Happyish" which was developed through Hoffman's Cooper's Town Productions banner.

Hoffman was to have played a 40-something man frustrated by feeling out of touch in his work surrounded by younger colleagues.

Showtime gave the project a 10-episode order last month for a planned premiere later this year.

Production had not yet started on "Happyish." The half-hour pilot was shot in September. Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans were to costar.

The project gestated at Showtime for more than a year. Entertainment prez David Nevins had been eager to get a project going with Hoffman given his skills as an actor and his appeal to film fans that is a good fit with Showtime's target upscale demo.

Hoffman had clearly hoped to make a mark in TV, as the Cooper's Town banner had been active in fielding TV projects that he helped shepherd as an exec producer, including a drama for FX, "Inside."

Hoffman had also committed to star in a drama for HBO, "Upstate," about a man who moves to a rural town to work for a private prison. The project was developed in 2011 but never got past the script stage.
Hoffman's most substantial TV role was costarring opposite Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Ed Harris in the 2005 HBO miniseries "Empire Falls," which earned him a supporting actor Emmy nomination.
Showtime execs were reeling Sunday from the news of Hoffman's death and would not comment on the fate of "Happyish." They have, however, released a statement regarding his death.

"Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation's finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time."

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