11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
IFC Orders Pair of Scripted Comedies Including Hank Azaria's 'Brockmire' (Exclusive)
IFC is expanding its scripted comedy roster.
The AMC Networks-owned cable channel has picked up two half-hour comedies — Brockmire starring Hank Azaria and Stan Against Evil from The Simpsons' Dana Gould.
From Funny or Die and based on the viral hit of the same name, Brockmire was created by and stars Azaria as a beleaguered baseball announcer a la Vin Scully who has a meltdown on-air. The character, Jim Brockmire, was created by Azaria as a kid with the actor/voiceover star having long dreamed of turning it into a series. During the writers' strike, Azaria teamed with Funny or Die for a video featuring the character, which currently rates as one of the site's most-watched and highest-rated clips (watch below).
Azaria stars as Brockmire, a famed Major League Baseball announcer whose meltdown comes after he discovers his beloved wife's serial infidelity. The IFC series picks up a decade later when Brockmire decides to reclaim his career and love life in a small town, calling minor league baseball games for the Morristown Frackers. Brockmire is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and will be directed by Tim Kirkby (Veep). Azaria exec produces alongside Church-Cooper, Kirkby and Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell. The series will air on IFC in early 2017.
Stan Against Evil, meanwhile, is a comedic horror genre series that revolves around Stan, a perpetually disgruntled former sheriff of a small New England town who was forced into retirement. Stan has trouble relinquishing his authority to Evie, the tough and beautiful new sheriff in town, but they form an unlikely alliance when both begin to realize things are not quite right. Together, they valiantly fight a plague of unleashed demons that have been haunting the town, which just happens to be built on the site of a massive 17th century witch burning. Stan Against Evil will air in the fall. Gould will executive produce and write, with 3 Arts' Tom Lassally also on board as an exec producer. Radical Media will produce the series, with Frank Scherma and Justin Wilkes executive producing
"Demons and disgrace are at the forefront of IFC’s new comedy strategy," said IFC president Jennifer Caserta. "And there’s no one we’d rather be in bed with — or save small towns with — than Hank and Dana. One of the hallmarks of IFC’s success is the exceptional caliber of creative genius that we get to partner with, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be making these shows.”
Both series join a growing slate of scripted fare that includes Portlandia, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Comedy Bang! Bang! as well as Maron and Documentary Now.