Comedy sees escape in 'Ugly Americans'


Comedy Central is ramping up its animation slate, including a series order for a new show from former "The Simpsons" writer David Stern.

The new half-hour series, tentatively titled "Ugly Americans" and set to premiere early next year, is set in an alternate New York where fantasy and sci-fi creatures live as ordinary citizens. The show centers on a human social worker for the Department of Immigration who helps newcomers — human and otherwise — adjust to city life. The seven-episode order is based on an original idea by illustrator Devin Clark, who will serve as a producer.

"During these tough economic times, our viewers need a good laugh now more than ever," said Lauren Corrao, president of original programming and development at Comedy Central. "With the pickup of 'Ugly Americans,' our viewers will be able to escape into a fantasy world like they've never seen before."

The network also is developing a Jamie Foxx workplace comedy based on his Sirius XM satellite radio program, "The Foxxhole"; "Gypsy Cab," starring "30 Rock's" Judah Friedlander as a cab driver; and "The Invadersteins," the story of a family of aliens who stayed behind after an invasion of Earth failed, from Dan Vebber, who's had producer roles on "Futurama" and "American Dad."

The network also announced premiere dates for previously announced new series "Tosh.0" (10 p.m. June 4), "Michael & Michael Have Issues" (10:30 p.m. July 15) and "Secret Girlfriend" (10:30 p.m. Oct. 14).

Comedy Central also ordered pilots for a Ron White show featuring in-studio and man-on-the-street segments; a sports comedy show from the Sklar brothers (exec produced by Michael Eisner) about two brothers who are the heirs to a sports conglomerate; a sketch-variety show from Andy Dick; "The Life," which follows a one-hit wonder music star (exec produced and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh); "Ghosts/ Aliens," about two friends' quest to expose the truth about ghosts and aliens (exec produced by Scott Aversano and Phil Johnston); and "Midwest Teen Sex Show," an "instructional" sex sketch show (exec produced by Principato Young and Double Features). (partialdiff)