Quietly, in the last few years, amid directing his own passion project and producing more hit movies for his underlings, Judd has pulled together a whole new roster of protégés to teach, nurture, and hook up with studios and networks. That includes Lena Dunham, the director/star of Tiny Furniture, a SXSW smash making its theatrical debut this week: She's now writing an HBO pilot that Apatow is producing. While this second generation is not exactly analogous to the first batch (Apatow's now churning out major motion pictures, not casting unknowns for under-the-radar TV shows), the M.O. is the same: He's looking to take a bunch of very talented people who don't exactly fit the Hollywood mold and figure out how to make them really, really popular. It worked once. Can he pull it off again?It's a slide show but it includes Bo Burnham (Jason Segel), Lena Dunham (Jason Franco), Kristen Wiig (no comparison, but let the record state that she's the same age that Will Ferrell was when his movie career broke out), Bill Hader (Jay Baruchel), Pee-wee Herman (Loudon Wainwright), and Aziz Ansari (Seth Rogen).
We'll see what happens.