Dylan Stableford reports:
A live sex show, a J.B. Smoove-hosted stand-up series, “SNL” alums and “JC” -- an animated show about Jesus -- are on a wildly diverse 2010-2011 development slate at Comedy Central that the network plans to announce Thursday.
Among the notable unscheduled projects in development: "Highdeas," a comedy reality show based on the Web site highdeas.com, in which co-hosts “explore the kind of mind-blowing questions that can only be posed by stoners”; "Live Sex Show," a live, fully interactive panel show that “takes a comedic look at all things sex”; "Patrice Oneal's Guide to White People” (exactly what it sounds like); "Steel Panther," a “loosely scripted docu-reality show follows the outrageous and popular 1980s-style hairband as they attempt to bring back heavy metal; and “JC,” a half-hour animated show about Jesus Christ “wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow and to live life in NYC as a regular guy.”
According to Kent Alterman, the network’s head of original programming, the diversity was intended. “I’m not really good at formulas,” Alterman said. “We try to make shows that people want to watch – in comedy there’s an elusive alchemy. And if you start to overthink it, it becomes unfunny, and people can smell it.”
(Read also: Comedy Central's Head of Programming: Grilled)
Comedy Central also set premiere dates for previously announced series including the return of "Futurama" (June 24), the Adam McKay-/Will Ferrell-produced "Big Lake" starring Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz (August), "Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" (October), "The Onion Sports Network" (January 2011), "Workaholics" (February 2011) and "Russell Simmons Presents: Stand-Up at the El Rey" (July 11).
The network already announced the pick-up of additional episodes of "Ugly Americans" and a third season renewal for "Tosh.0."
One thing not in development at Comedy Central: anything from “The State” alums Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter or Thomas Lennon. The network canceled “Reno 9/11” last year and “Michael & Michael Have Issues” earlier this year.
COMEDY CENTRAL 2010-2011 DEVELOPMENT SLATE
SERIES IN PRODUCTION
"Futurama" – premieres Thursday, June 24
The Emmy Award-winning "Futurama" is back! Everybody's favorite zany group from the future has returned with 12 brand-new episodes, premiering right here on COMEDY CENTRAL. Twentieth century pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry (Billy West) is still jetting around the universe with his favorite drunken robot Bender (John DiMaggio) and tough, but lovely, one-eyed alien Leela (Katey Sagal). Created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen, "Futurama" is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, with Rough Draft Studios, Inc. contributing the animation.
"Russell Simmons Presents: Stand-Up at the El Rey" – premieres Sunday, July 11
Executive produced by Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan, the unique stand-up show with a hip hop vibe, hosted by JB Smoove ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") will reflect the urban culture of today's youth through stand-up comedy. Each episode will consist of three up-and-coming comics and will feature music created by DJ Cassidy.
"Big Lake" – premieres August TBD
From executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, "Big Lake" stars Chris Gethard as Josh Franklin, a young man who won't let anything get in the way of his big dreams, even losing his job and having to live on his parents' couch. Josh enlists the help of his friends, ex-convict Glenn ("Saturday Night Live" alum Horatio Sanz) and burned-out high school teacher Mr. Henkel (Chris Parnell of
"30 Rock") in planning a myriad of well-intentioned schemes to save their hometown, Big Lake. Invariably these plans never come to fruition and the gang has to go back to the drawing board. Written by Emmy Award-winner Lew Morton ("Futurama," "Undeclared").
"Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" – premieres October TBD
From Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures Television, "Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" is an irreverent sketch show filtered through the twisted point-of-view of stand-up comedian Nick Swardson ("Grandma's Boy," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"). Swardson played Terry Bernardino on "RENO 911" and has been featured in two "COMEDY CENTRAL Presents" stand-up specials, as well as his own one-hour special "Seriously, Who Farted?," which premiered on COMEDY CENTRAL last October. Swardson has a unique voice and is a star on the rise with a feature film, "Born to Be a Star", which he wrote and stars in, premiering this fall. He is currently filming “Just Go With It”, with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman. Directed by "Saturday Night Live" and "Human Giant" alum Tom Gianas, "Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" will feature irreverent sketches, digital shorts, and fan favorite "Gay Robot," which follows the life of a gay robot and his frat boy friends.
"The Onion Sports Network" (working title) – premieres January 2011
Sports coverage is finally about to get some integrity. The half-hour scripted comedy from The Onion takes its cue from The Onion Sports Network video content which authentically replicates the flashy look, breathless pace and general insanity of modern sports coverage. The series will take on the whole universe of modern sports – teams, players, leagues, sycophantic fans, ridiculous products and over-hyped coverage – with an eye towards appealing to sports fanatics and more casual fans, as well as long-time followers of The Onion and The Onion News Network. Executive produced by The Onion's Julie Smith and Will Graham.
"Workaholics" – premieres February 2011
From the minds of the hilarious and irreverent internet sketch group Mail Order Comedy, "Workaholics" is a workplace comedy featuring three friends who work together from 9 to 5, and live together from 5 to 9. Dress codes, deadlines, and rising before noon are not things these guys are used to. Their brains are stuck on college cruise control and now they're trapped in an office environment with "grown ups." Together they're a three man spring break, they do their jobs and sometimes they even do them well, but they show up late, leave drunk, play pranks on one another and bend all the rules. They live for the day…even if they don't know what day it is. "Workaholics" stars Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson and is executive produced by Kevin Etten ("Scrubs"). Episodes will be directed by series co-creator, Kyle Newacheck, and Chris Koch (“Modern Family”).
PILOTS/PRESENTATIONS (all titles listed are working titles)
In this comedy reality show based on the Web site highdeas.com, our comedian co-hosts will explore the kind of mind-blowing questions that can only be posed by stoners. By delving into concepts such as "white chocolate milk" and "hamster-sized rhinos," "Highdeas" will bring the highest ideas to light using a combination of field reports, prototype tests and, of course, black lights and lava lamps. Executive produced by Embassy Row (Michael Davies, Jen Kelly and Dave O'Connor).
"Jon Benjamin Has a Van"
Investigative reporter Jon Benjamin ("Important Things With Demetri Martin," "Archer") hits the streets to put his twist on the traditional human interest story in this newsmagazine style sketch show. Whether going undercover or participating in reenactments, Benjamin will do whatever it takes to get the news to the people. And his custom van will ensure that he delivers it in style. Executive produced by Benjamin, Andrew Steele and Funny or Die.
"Live Sex Show"
It's live, it's late night and there's a whole lot of sex. Hosted by irreverent comedian and professional party animal Bert Kreischer ("Reality Bites Back," "Hurt Bert") and wickedly sharp-tongued Maxim model Layla Kayleigh ("Attack of the Show," "America's Best Dance Crew"), "Live Sex Show" is a live, fully interactive panel show that takes a comedic look at all things sex. Each week the show will feature a panel of celebrity guests, sketches and titillating conversation. Viewers will be able to interact with the show via Skype, Twitter, email and text. Executive produced by Jesse Ignatovic ("The T.O. Show," MTV's VMA's) and written by Mat Harawitz ("The Soup," COMEDY CENTRAL Roasts).
"Patrice Oneal's Guide to White People"
Remarkably adept at pinpointing the details of whiteness, Patrice Oneal ("Opie and Anthony," "ZRock") schools us on race relations from his unique point of view, offering hilarious lessons both in the classroom and on the street. Executive produced by Michael Hirschorn ("Celebrity Rehab") and Gideon Evans ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart").
Based on the popular "Funny or Die" web short, "Rich Dicks," Nick Kroll ("The League," "The Life & Times of Tim") and Jon Daly (Upright Citizens Brigade Theater) star as two obnoxious rich dicks who party it up in Los Angeles with the help of their nanny Consuela, creating a mess in their wake. Directed by Jon Krisel ("Tim and Eric's Awesome Show") and executive produced by Krisel, Kroll and Daly.
This loosely scripted docu-reality show follows the outrageous and popular '80's style hairband,
Steel Panther, as they attempt to bring back heavy metal. Featuring vocalist Michael Starr, drummer
Stix Zadinia, bassist Lexxi Foxxx, and guitarist Satchel, Steel Panther is a parody heavy metal band from Los Angeles, known for their profane and humorous lyrics. Their over-the-top live performances have attracted celebrities and fans alike, and in February 2009 the band succeeded in becoming one of the most popular cover bands in California, winning the contest of "Best Tribute Band in the Universe".
The band's first album, entitled "Feel the Steel" was released in 2009. "Steel Panther" is created by
Brian Posehn ("The Sarah Silverman Program") and Jeff Tremaine ("Jackass").
"This Show Will Get You High"
This is a sketch show of video shorts featuring the next wave of stars from the world famous Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, which was founded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts, and has produced such notable performers as Ed Helms, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Aziz Ansari,
Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, and Jack McBrayer. In-between scenes of this sketch show, we'll see the ensemble performing in venues across America, and interacting with the public at cool events. Think an edgier "Saturday Night Live" on the road. This show is written and created by UCB co-founder Matt Besser ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "RENO 911!") and Eric Zicklin ("Frasier," "Dharma & Greg").
Untitled Andre Hyland Project
Starring fresh new talent Andre Hyland, this mockumentary-style sketch show exists somewhere between Monty Python and Jackass; featuring the characters of Andre Hyland and the animations of Mike Mayfield ("The Cleveland Show," "American Dad") as well as the comically petty squabbling of three stoner-ish roommates. From executive producer Bob Odenkirk ("Mr. Show"), this irreverent stoner sketch show will resonate with our young male viewers.
Untitled Bill Burr/Kevin Hart Pilot
Top stand-ups Kevin Hart ("Krod Mandoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire," "Soul Plane") and Bill Burr ("Chappelle's Show") star in a half-hour hour comedy scripted series featuring a modern day take on
"The Odd Couple." Executive produced by Bruce McCulloch ("Kids in the Hall," "Carpoolers") and
SCRIPT/PAPER DEVELOPMENT (all titles listed are working titles)
You know those people who cut you off in traffic, use their cell phone in the movie theater, and don't hold the door open for old ladies? They're a**holes, and it's about time we find out what makes them tick. "A**holes" is a scripted half-hour comedy series that tells the story of the two biggest assholes in the entire world…Jeff and Geoff. These two twenty-something roommates spend their days scamming on girls, bilking Alzheimer's patients out of money, and generally being the opposite of model citizens. You've never laughed harder at watching people be so bad. "A**holes" is written and created by
Steve Koren ("Saturday Night Live," "Seinfeld") and Nick Malis ("Tosh.0," "Mind of Mencia").
A police procedural cop series set in a corrupt city where humans and puppets co-exist. Viewers follow Herbie, the police force's first puppet detective, valiantly trying to improve his detective skills without becoming disillusioned and hardened, and his human man-child partner Sanchez as they unravel high-profile cases that touch upon such hot-button issues as jellybean smuggling, the anti-human movement, and puppet sex-crimes. Dead bodies, compromised forensics and shoot-outs are par for the course in the visually exciting, seam-splittingly hilarious and gritty puppet world of "The Fuzz." Created and written by Waverly Films (Chris Ford, Duncan Skiles and Jon Watts) and executive produced by Dave Becky, Tom Lasally, and Greg Walter, the series has also been greenlit for five Webisodes to air on COMEDY CENTRAL's sister network, Atom.com, later this year.
"Intercourse With Whitney Cummings"
From brash young comedian Whitney Cummings ("Made of Honor," COMEDY CENTRAL Roasts), "Intercourse With Whitney Cummings" is a half-hour scripted narrative comedy that follows Cumming's adventures in dating and sex. Joining Whitney each week on her adventures will be her single guy friend Neal, her married couple friends Dick and Jane, and her porn star neighbor Starla, whose advice normally does more harm than good. With material taken from her stand-up act, Cumming's unique voice and brutally honest point of view of the dating landscape and relationships in general promises to make "Intercourse" a twisted "Sex and the City" for the new decade.
A half-hour animated show about JC (Jesus Christ) wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow and to live life in NYC as a regular guy. A lot has changed in 2000 years and he is the ultimate fish out of water. Meanwhile his all-powerful yet apathetic father would rather be playing video games than listening to JC recount his life in the city. JC is a playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb. Executive produced by Reveille ("The Office"), Henrik Basin, Brian Boyle ("American Dad"), Jonathan Sjoberg and Andreas Ohman.
"The Jim Jeffries Show"
From the twisted yet completely relatable mind of Australian stand up comedian Jim Jeffries, this is a half-hour narrative about Jim's new life in the US. In the pilot episode Jim's best friend Damon is getting married to a religious woman who hates him and declares that Jim must go to confession in order to be the best man. This is a big problem since Jim is an atheist. Meanwhile his new hot roommate Carly goes missing and Jim thinks he will be blamed. Executive Produced by Jim Jeffries, Chris Case ("Reba"), Mindy Schulteis and Michael Hanel.
In the vein of classic Saturday morning superhero cartoons, like "G.I. Joe" and "Jonny Quest," the Joe Squad is the most elite fighting squad hell-bent on saving the world. Led by sex-obsessed Captain Falcon, the team consists of Auburn, the stunning, red-headed sexy-librarian-type, Berserker, the heavyset mustached goof, Big Jersey, the chiseled overly-tanned douchebag, Butchley, the freakishly Schwarzeneggerian female, Brick House, the insanely jacked African-American Muslim, Dutch, the clean-cut All-American good guy, and Lone Wolf, the masked and mysterious mute ninja. When these guys are not trying to save the world, they're getting in each other's way and on each other's nerves. Fortunately for Joe Squad, their nemesis Master Snake and his team of Rattlers are just as inept. This animated action-comedy comes from writer Blake McCormick ("King of the Hill") and executive producer Marty Adelstein ("Made of Honor").
Eric Slovin and Leo Allen ("Saturday Night Live," "Important Things with Demetri Martin") bring their hilarious vision of life on a space station to the airwaves. It's awkward office politics as usual in Deep Space, with a twist – the whole thing might just be a social experiment funded by an eccentric zillionaire with a love for all things astral.
"Midnight Drop Box"
From Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning writer Rob Schrab (“The Sarah Silverman Program”) and executive producer Erin O’Malley (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) this comedic twist on “Tales from the Crypt” is a stoner-horror anthology that spins the genre on its ear with aggressively odd stories featuring comedy guest stars. Funny but not spoofy, each tale is bookended by "The Hoster," who introduces each episode from his haunted video store in an abandoned mini-mall.
From veteran comedy writer Les Firestein (“The Drew Carey Show”, “In Living Color”), “Nocturnal Mission” is an out-of-this-world comedy that stars Chris D’Elia (“Monk”, “Boston Legal”), who has been sent to Earth to save the planet. Without realizing there is a difference between someone’s on-line persona and who they really are, the alien brain trust has identified super-nerd Moshe Kasher (“Chelsea Lately”, “Live at Gotham”), to impregnate as many women as possible. This live-action show features two of the young, emerging stars in the world of comedy. Written and executive produced by Les Firestein and 3Arts Entertainment.
"Supermax" is animated series where the well-known inmates (Robert Hanssen, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Ted Kaczinski, Omar Abdel-Rahman, Richard Reid, John Walker-Lindh) of a real super maximum security prison in Colorado learn to live and love. From Emmy® Award-winning comedy writer Lew Morton ("Undeclared," "Newsradio," "Futurama"), comedy gets a life sentence in this "arresting" comedy, where the only crime is not to laugh.
Untitled Broken Lizard Minor League Umpires Project
From the minds of Broken Lizard, (“Super Troopers”, “Beer Fest”) comes a series about four minor-league umpires as they travel from game to game in coastal California with dreams of making it to the major leagues. Written by Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhankse, Paul Soter and executive produced by 3Arts Entertainment.
Untitled Reggie Watts Project
Multi-talented musician/comedian and indescribable stage phenomenon Reggie Watts, currently opening for Conan O'Brien on his nationwide tour, joins forces with COMEDY CENTRAL to bring his unique voice to television. Executive produced by James Biederman ("Michael and Michael Have Issues," "Whitest Kids U Know").
Based on the popular movie of the same name, “Waiting…” follows the young and not so young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant as they gossip, make fun of customers, and avert boredom and adulthood with their antics. Each of the employees projects their own issues into the restaurant as they grapple with sex, booze, and whether they are temporary or permanent fixtures in the restaurant world. Written by Rob McKittrick (who also wrote and directed the film) and executive produced by McKittrick, Thomas Augsberger and Jeff Balis.