TCA 2016: Turner’s comedy net also schedules “Conan in Qatar,” plans 25-hour “Angie Tribeca” launch party
Additionally, Turner’s comedy cable channel has set the date for “Conan in Qatar,” as well as a planned 25-hour marathon to launch new Rashida Jones series, “Angie Tribeca.”
The news all came about as part of Thursday’s Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, which is currently underway in Pasadena, Calif.
“People of Earth,” which was created by David Jenkins and also hails from David Kissinger and Larry Sullivan, stars Wyatt Cenac, Ana Gasteyer, Oscar Nuñez, Michael Cassidy, Alice Wetterlund, Luka Jones, Brian Huskey, Nancy Lenehan, Tracee Chimo, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Björn Gustafsson and Ken Hall. The sitcom is produced by Conaco LLC in association with Warner Horizon Television; a premiere date will be announced later.
The series (pictured above) centers on skeptical journalist Ozzie Graham (Cenac), who investigates a support group to write about the member’s supposed alien encounters. The more he digs into their oddball claims, the more he realizes a semblance of truth to their stories and possibly even signs that point to his own alien abduction. The onetime outsider now finds himself a part of this eclectic group of misfits, all the while struggling with the idea of knowing that life could exist beyond our world.
“Having Greg Daniels executive-produce and direct a project for us at such an early stage in the network’s evolution is huge. His keen ability to assemble a brilliant ensemble cast has obviously worked well in the past,” said Brett Weitz, executive vice president of original programming for TBS. “Since the launch of ‘Conan,’ which has been a brand beacon for TBS for more than five years, we’ve been searching for just the right sophisticated and funny scripted comedy series to develop with our partners at Conaco. I believe we found that in this wonderfully original script by David Jenkins.”
Sticking with the comedy — and Conan — TBS has marked Monday, Jan. 25 for the premiere of “Conan in Qatar,” featuring Conan O’Brien and First Lady Michelle Obama on their recent trip to visit U.S. troops stationed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar. This latest in a string of global excursions for Conan will mark his second trip abroad to perform for the men and women of the United States military. In May 2003, he visited Kuwait and Bahrain on a USO tour.
“Conan in Qatar” marks Conan O’Brien‘s fourth adventure in the past 12 months. Last spring, he made headlines as the first American late-night host to shoot in Cuba in more than 50 years. And in November, he became the first American late-night host ever to do a show from Armenia. He has also done shows from New York, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.
In addition to the trip overseas, “Conan” is set for a return engagement in San Diego this July during Comic-Con International.
Finally for TBS, new Rashida Jones sitcom “Angie Tribeca” is getting a supersized push. As part of the network’s 25-hour marathon kicking off the show, TBS will hold an all-day, all-night launch party packed with stars from Angie Tribeca and other TBS shows, along with special guests, surprise appearances, music, comedy and more.
“Binge-A-Thon: 25 Hours of Commercial-Free ‘Angie Tribeca’ Episodes Plus Comedy with the Cast and Friends in Studio Live!” begins Sunday, Jan. 17, at 9 p.m. Hosted by cast member Deon Cole, the guest list boasts Conan, Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Natalie Zea, Iliza Shlesinger, Stan Smith and Roger from “American Dad,” cast members from upcoming series “Wrecked” and “Search Party,” Hayes MacArthur, Jere Burns, Andrée Vermeulen and dog Jagger, as well as show executive producers/creators Steve and Nancy Carell, showrunner Ira Ungerleider.
The “Binge-A-Thon” will include revealing interviews about the making of “Angie Tribeca,” deleted scenes and surprise guest appearances.
Moving to the drama — and the darkness — TNT is teaming up with M. Night Shyamalan on a new two-hour horror block to be curated by the “Sixth Sense” director. The block will feature both short and long-form storytelling, led by “Tales from the Crypt,” based on the original EC Comics and new stories, all executive-produced by Shyamalan and his partner at Binding Edge Pictures, Ashwin Rajan. The block is set to launch in fall 2016.
“This is a new genre for us in our series efforts and a great chance to partner with M. Night Shyamalan, whose blockbuster hit ‘The Visit’ reminded movie audiences and critics this past summer that he truly is a master of horror,” said Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT. “This two-hour horror block demonstrates not only TNT’s commitment to working with today’s top talents, but also our strategy to stand out in today’s marketplace by challenging the conventional rules of programming and scheduling.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to be teaming up with Kevin Reilly, Sarah Aubrey and the entire TNT team in this unique endeavor,” said Shyamalan. “To be part of such a beloved brand like ‘Tales from the Crypt,’ something I grew up watching, and to also have the chance to push the boundaries of genre television as a whole, is an inspiring opportunity that I can’t wait to dive into.”
In addition to Shyamalan and Rajan, James D. Stern is executive producing “Tales from the Crypt” with his company Endgame Entertainment. Aloris Entertainment’s John Santilli and Dan McKinnon will also executive produce. TNT will announce the additional series to be featured in the horror block in the coming months.