Ray Mickshaw
EW Staff
March 08, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

9:30-10PM · FOX · Debuts Sept. 10

CONCEPT Jerry O’Connell and Niecy Nash (Reno 911!) run a boutique Manhattan hotel.

THE SCOOP Jason Bateman directed two episodes of a show that was built around Nash’s sexy-feisty persona, says exec producer Abraham Higginbotham. Casting the male lead took longer. ”Jerry came in and saved us at the eleventh hour, 16 hours before the table read, and the show got made largely for that reason.” O’Connell thinks he was cast because ”I’ve lived in L.A. for 13 years, and for 13 years everyone [has thought] I’m Jason Bateman. I really believe I got this offer because Bateman secretly wanted to play it himself and the next best thing was me, unless his sister wanted to do it, but it wasn’t for a woman.”

BOTTOM LINE O’Connell and Nash are solid; now will someone please write them some funny lines?

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