Fox News Channel preps right-leaning satire
EmptyFox News Channel might air two episodes of a "Daily Show"-like program with a decidedly nonliberal bent on Saturday nights in late January, with the possibility that it could become a weekly show for the channel.
The half-hour show is executive produced by "24's" Joel Surnow and Manny Cota and creator Ned Rice, who previously wrote for "Politically Incorrect" and "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" through This Just In Prods. It would take aim at what Surnow calls "the sacred cows of the left" that don't get made as much fun of by other comedy shows.
"It's a satirical news format that would play more to the Fox News audience than the Michael Moore channel," Surnow said. "It would tip more right as 'The Daily Show' tips left."
The show was pitched as "This Just In" when it first got life as a 20-minute pilot presentation for Fox Broadcasting Co.'s late-night division. But when that network passed, Surnow said it attracted the attention of Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes.
"I showed it to Roger, and he really liked it and thought it could work on Fox News if we could make it conform to some of the restraints" of a cable news channel. Fox News Channel confirmed that talks were going on.
"Fox News is always looking for new cutting-edge programming ideas," said Bill Shine, senior vp programming at Fox News. "We look forward to working with Joel Surnow on this opportunity."
Taped before a studio audience in Los Angeles, the show will feature two co-anchors, actors Kurt Long ("Cuts," "Games Across America") and Susan Yeagley ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Reno 911!"). It also will feature person-on-the-street interviews and correspondent reports like other shows. But Surnow said that it's not going to be strictly conservative but more in the spirit of the old and rebellious "Saturday Night Live."
"It's not going to hit you over the head with partisan politics," Surnow said. "It'll hit anything that deserves to be hit."
The title "This Just In" was scrapped after producers found out the name was being used by an HBO-AOL production. A new title has not been settled on.
Surnow said the two shows will be completed within the next couple of months and that none of the pilot presentation will be used on air. He said he thinks that it will appeal to millions of people who aren't seeing this type of show on television and that it would skew younger than the normal cable news demographic.
"The most exciting thing for us will be that it's going to be fresh," Surnow said.
Surnow is repped by Paradigm and attorney Michael Gendler.