2:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Revisiting Saturday Sketch Comedy With Lonely Island's 'Party Over Here'
Fox is about to reap the benefits of its pact with Lonely Island guys Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. The network is also moving back into the sketch comedy space, ordering Saturday late-night effort Party Over Here from the trio and Paul Scheer.
The four will executive produce the new half-hour series, set to debut Mar. 12, though they naturally won't be part of the cast. That will be comprised of Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich.
“When we first conceived this idea, we thought of it as a spinoff of Empire,” Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone said Thursday in a statement. “We failed miserably … now it’s much more of a sketch comedy show.”
Added Scheer: “In an age where most millennials don’t even know what a TV is, we are really excited to be getting into the TV business."
Fox has not had a regular sketch comedy series or a late-night effort since MadTV ended its 14-season run back in 2009. Party Over Here, notably comprised of an all-female cast at the moment, will not be going head-to-head with NBC's Saturday Night Live, though. It will air at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
“The late-night landscape is wildly competitive, and we thought long and hard about the kind of audacious, attention-getting voices we needed,” said Fox Broadcasting entertainment president David Madden. “Andy, Akiva, Jorma, Paul and our three stars — Nicole, Jessica and Alison — are the ideal group of talent to do just that. They’re fearless, original and, of course, very, very funny.”
The trio of women are relative newcomers, but each boasts a unique comedy cred. Bryer is one of the breakouts of MTV's Girl Code, McKenna has been with both the Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade, and Rich served as a staff writer on SNL.
Scheer, who currently stars on ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, will direct in addition to his work as producer.