Netflix announced on Thursday that the Jewish actor, best known as the geeky heartthrob Seth Cohen on the teen drama “The O.C.” in the mid-2000s, is set to play a “charming rabbi” alongside Kristen Bell in an upcoming comedy.
“In the series, Bell plays an outspoken, agnostic woman who falls in love with a charming rabbi, played by Brody, totally upending his safe life plan,” the streamer wrote in a brief statement.
The show is being run by Erin Foster, who wrote for the NBC sitcom “The New Normal” and co-created the mockumentary series “Barely Famous” for VH1. She converted to Judaism before marrying music executive and investor Simon Tikhman at the end of 2019.
Steven Levitan, the Jewish TV veteran who created “Modern Family,” is an executive producer.
Brody, now 43, has appeared in several comedy films and shows over the past two decades, including roles as another Seth in Hulu’s “Fleishman Is in Trouble” series and as a superhero in the “Shazam!” movie franchise. But he became a teen idol and early internet sensation for his lovably fast-talking Cohen character, who has a Jewish father and Christian mother on “The O.C.”
The wildly popular series, which ran from 2003-2007 and was created by Josh Schwartz, drew praise for depicting a mixed-faith household in primetime — notably with a famous episode about “Chrismukkah,” Cohen’s phrase for the combination of the December holidays he grew up with — a decade before a crop of shows made Jewish representation onscreen more commonplace.
Brody grew up in suburban San Diego and had a bar mitzvah. Bell, who is not Jewish, has appeared in range of hit shows and movies, from “Veronica Mars” to “Frozen” to “The Good Place.”
Netflix did not announce a release date or a title for the new series — leaving us no choice but to call it “the charming rabbi show” for now.