IFC Expands Comedy Slate With Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Joel McHale Projects

9:31 AM PST 03/20/2014 by Lacey Rose
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Fred Armisen

Ahead of its upfront presentation to advertisers, the cable network announced it would add a Comedy Music Awards show and a scripted comedy starring Rob Huebel ("Children's Hospital") as well.

IFC is looking to expand its comedy foothold.

Ahead of its upfront Thursday, the AMC Networks channel announced that it's adding a new docu-parody, tentatively titled American Documentary, from Saturday Night Live vets Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Portlandia's Fred Armisen as well as a scripted half-hour effort, American Storage, starring Rob Huebel (Children's Hospital). And, as IFC president Jennifer Caserta hinted in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, IFC is partnering for a first-ever CollegeHumor Comedy Music Awards show to air in 2015. The latter, a bid for event-based water-cooler programming to cut through a crowded landscape, is being billed as a satire of traditional awards shows incorporating the best of the comedy and music worlds.

The niche cable network, which posted 20 percent gains in viewership this past year, is set to expand its fourth season of Comedy Bang! Bang! to 40 episodes and will add a second season for The Birthday Boys from Ben Stiller and Breaking Bad's Bob Odenkirk. Additionally, IFC is developing comedies Westside from Community's Joel McHale and The Bank from former NBC exec Teri Weinberg. If ordered to series, they will join a schedule that includes critical darlings Maron and Portlandia, as well as upcoming summer comedy Garfunkel and Oates.

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“IFC began the year with significant momentum that continues to accelerate. We’re delivering more original programming that is resonating with viewers, and key advertisers are seeking us out to reach consumers through the power and authenticity of our alt comedy voice," said Caserta in a statement announcing the new slate. She added, "Through our current slate, IFC is continuing to partner with some of the biggest and most sought-after comedians in the business and we’re so thrilled that our viewers will be able to enjoy what they do best.”

Here's a closer look at IFC's new fare:

American Documentary 

American Documentary will bow in 2015 as six half-hour installments produced by SNL honcho Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video. Featuring a repertory-like ensemble cast, the episodes will explore important political figures, influential artists, titans of industry, and iconic cultural movements, all utterly fictional. Meyers, who tapped Armisen as his Late Night bandleader in February, will executive produce the series along with Armisen and Hader, who will have recurring roles.  

American Storage 

When a straitlaced employee at a storage facility befriends a man he discovers living in one of the units, a friendship blossoms and mayhem ensues. Huebel stars as Kurt Jones, a thrill-seeking bachelor who takes up residence in a Los Angeles storage facility and shows Charlie (John Karna) there’s more to life than a steady job, a hot girlfriend and suitable housing. The project, which is based on the short film of the same name co-written by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien (Neighbors) and directed by Cohen, will roll out with eight half-hour episodes in 2015. It's produced by Troy Miller and Dakota Pictures (Arrested Development, Flight of the Conchords). 

Westside (in development)

Created and written by Jordan Okun and executive produced by McHale, Jason Burns and Free Period, this half-hour scripted comedy follows a group of suburban schnooks who are forced into a life of crime.

The Bank (in development)

A half-hour scripted comedy, executive produced by Weinberg (The Office, Ugly Betty) and writer Brigitte Bako (G-Spot), about a dysfunctional family who runs a sperm bank.  

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