FNC, Surnow to lean right with laffer

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NEW YORK -- Fox News Channel will air the first of two episodes of "24" executive producer Joel Surnow's conservative-leaning "The Daily Show"-like satire Sunday night.

If the ratings for Sunday's "The Half-Hour News Hour" do well, then it could become a weekly show on Fox News Channel. Two episodes of the show were ordered last year for telecast in the winter after a 12-minute pilot was developed (THR 11/20). It's hosted by comedians Kurt Long and Jennifer Robertson, and both shows were filmed in front of a studio audience last month in Los Angeles.

The show is developed by Surnow, Manny Coto and former "Politically Incorrect" writer Ned Rice. Rice is the head writer along with former "Late Night With David Letterman" writer Sandy Frank.

Surnow said Monday that the show comes from a "right leaning point of view," more so than other shows of its kind.

"We're just going to even out the playing field a little bit and hit targets that we think are hilarious and do it in a very spirited, but warm-spirited, way. It's not mean," Surnow said.

Among the topics discussed on the first show are global warming and Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The producers were conscious of the fact that there would be a long lead time before the shows aired.

"We were very careful to choose issues that were still going to be around" by the time the show aired, Coto said. If the show gets picked up, it won't be as long and the shows will be more timely.

Robertson replaces Susan Yeagley, who was the co-host in the pilot but who was about to have a child at the time of the taping.
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