“Easy to Assemble”, a new 10-episode scripted web series starring Illeana Douglas (Cape Fear, Ghost World, Six Feet Under) and produced by SXM, was shot last week to launch in late September. In an unprecedented agreement for retail chains, IKEA is funding Douglas’ vision for the new show (she wrote and produced it), in which she will be playing a fictional version of herself working at the Burbank branch of the furniture giant. Shot on location, the show will feature a healthy collection of celeb cameos, including Jeff Goldblum, Tom Arnold, Justine Bateman, Ed Begley Jr, Craig Bierko and Robert Patrick. The actors were said to be intrigued by the creative possibilities offered by internet video, such as playing against traditional typecasting.
The show has its origins in a 2004 short film called Supermarket Of The Stars, in which Illeana Douglas pretends to give up acting to work at a grocery store. The film was then turned into a pilot called “Illeanarama – Supermarket Of The Stars.” Though never picked up, the pilot became an instant hit on YouTube, being nominated for three TV Guide Awards by the end of 2007. In a paean to the possibilities of web video, SXM stated, “This is really the story of an idea which refused to die and ultimately found a home and sponsor outside traditional television.” This sounds like a series to keep an eye on. SXM’s Thomas Bannister added, “without sounding too immodest it’s going to be really really funny and creative.”
CORRECTION: The orginal version of this story incorrectly credited Illeana Douglas as the director of the series. She is in fact the writer and producer but not the director. Chris Bradlee and Kyle LaBrache (Supermarket of the Stars, Pittsburg, Fired) are the directors. The story has been updated to reflect this correction.