James Van Der Beek to Impersonate Diplo in New Series

Six-episode television series is described as "'Louie' meets WorldStar HipHop crossed with 'This Is Spinal Tap'"

James Van Der Beek will impersonate EDM star Diplo in a new scripted series for Viceland. Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty

James Van Der Beek is diving deeper into his Diplo impersonation with a scripted Viceland series tentatively titled What Would Diplo Do? The Dawson's Creek actor will star as the EDM titan in the six-episode project, which is expected to premiere later this year, Deadline reports. He will also write and serve as showrunner, while co-executive producing alongside the real-life Diplo, the DJ-producer's manager, Kevin Kusatsu and director Brandon Dermer.

What Would Diplo Do?, described as "Louie meets WorldStar HipHop crossed with This Is Spinal Tap," will be scripted but with space for improvisation. The show, which Van Der Beek said "doesn't take itself too serious, but it's not cynical," follows a fictionalized version of the producer, whom Deadline says "can bring 60,000 people to their feet ... but kind of sucks one-on-one." 

The series is a continuation of last year's "A Day in the Life," a comedic web video promoting Diplo's Mad Decent Block Party. In the brief clip, the Major Lazer member showcases the over-the-top nuances of his celebrity lifestyle – from hiring a harpist as his alarm clock to forcing studio engineers to dress as elves.

Acclaimed filmmaker/Viceland co-president Spike Jonze is excited about the range Van Der Beek showed with his script ideas. "When James was in the office a few weeks ago, he told me the story lines he had sketched out, they were, of course, funny," he told Deadline. "One even got me emotional which made it that much more funny. This idea has gotten inside James which makes me really excited to see what he makes and happy to have it on our channel."