Rainn Wilson's 'Impress Me' Becomes Second Scripted Show on Pop

Rainn Wilson - H 2015
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Rainn Wilson - H 2015

Pop has ordered its second scripted comedy series.

The network, formerly TV Guide Network, has picked up to series the Rainn Wilson-produced web series Impress Me.

The six-episode series originally premiered on Wilson's YouTube channel SoulPancake and hails from The Office alum's production company of the same name. Pop will air those six plus an additional seven never-before-seen installments. The series will premiere after Schitt's Creek, Pop's first scripted and highest-rated series, starting on Wednesday, March 18 at 10:30 p.m.  

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Created by writer-director Ben Shelton, the half-hour scripted comedy centers on celebrity impressionists Ross Marquand (new The Walking Dead series regular Aaron) and Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation's Martin) who are trying to quit doing impressions and become dramatic actors. The result: total chaos. Cameos include Angela Kinsey (The Office), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Matt Jones (Breaking Bad), Josh Groban and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Pop president Brad Schwartz touted the spirit of the "celebrity fandom" and heart and called Impress Me a "great match" with Schitt's Creek, a Canadian import Pop acquired in October.

"This show is about more than two talented celebrity impressionists. It’s about how hard (and hilarious) it can be to follow your heart, even when the cards are stacked against you,” Wilson said. “SoulPancake birthed this baby online, and Pop’s savvy creative team is bold enough to bring it to TV.”

Impress Me becomes the latest web-turned-TV series as the increase in scripted fare puts writers and talent in short supply and programmers look to other avenues for success. It joins TV Land's upcoming take on Teachers; Comedy Central hit Broad City; Adult Swim'sChildrens Hospital; Showtime's Web Therapy; Cartoon Network's Annoying Orange; and Nickelodeon's AwesomenessTV, among others. On the flip side, IFC just canceled Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome's Garfunkel and Oates after one season.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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