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In an aggressive bid for content, Comedy Central has lined its development slate with sketch artists, stick figures, robots and the revival of a 1980s-style public affairs show.
“We hired a very expensive independent research firm that suggested that to be strategic, we should get in business with the funniest people we know,” jokes Kent Alterman, the network’s head of original programming and production.
With this collection — a mix of stand-up, animation and scripted fare — Alterman and his team are looking to fill the already-popular 10 p.m. hour as well as expand the network’s late-night block past midnight.
In addition to previously announced entries starring The Gregory Brothers and Anthony Jeselnik, as well as upcoming series Key & Peele, The Nick Show Kroll and Brickleberry, here’s an exclusive first look at Comedy Central’s 2011-12 development slate:
*The Burn: The “Roast Master General” Jeff Ross and his comedian friends roast the week’s hot topics. Ross, Mike Gibbons and Tagline Television will serve as executive producers on the project.
*Braunger: A single-camera scripted comedy based on the life of comedian man-child Matt Braunger. The project will be executive produced and created by Braunger and Brent Forrester (King of the Hill, The Office), who will also direct. Avalon Entertainment’s David Martin will EP, with the firm’s Dan Lubetkin co-executive producing.
*Robots: An animated show that pits a group of household electronics against their slacker owner. Kumail Nanjiani (Comedy Central’s Hot List, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show) along with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office, Bad Teacher) will write and executive produce.
*Nathan for You: Canadian writer-comedian Nathan Fielder (Important Things With Demetri Martin) uses his finance degree and life experience to help ailing businesses. The catch in this reality-scripted hybrid: Fielder’s advice usually does more harm than good. The project will be executive produced by Fielder, Michael Koman and David Kneebone.
*TripTank: A collection of animated shorts featuring comedy’s brightest, with plots that range from a magical alcoholic wheelchair helping sick children to a group of aliens studying the world’s most average guy. The project is a collaboration between executive producers Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico of ShadowMachine (Robot Chicken, Moral Orel) and Tom Gianas (Pretend Time with Nick Swardson, Saturday Night Live) combines a variety of animated formats with a broad range of talented writers and creators including Tommy Blacha, Tom Gammill, Jon Glaser, Laura Kightlinger, Joe Mande, Bob Odenkirk and Duncan Trussell.
*@RobDelaney: A variety show starring comedian and Twitter mastermind Delaney, who will present videos, interview guests and discuss Twitter trends. Delaney will executive produce alongside Avalon Entertainment’s David Martin, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner, Chris McGuire and Kara Baker. Avalon’s Dan Lubetkin will co-EP.
*Eugene!: A sketch show from the absurd point of view of comedian Eugene Mirman (Flight of the Conchords). Mirman, Jon Watts and Chris Ford will executive produce.
*Overloaded: A shortform look at social media, with comedian Michael Kosta breaking down what people are talking about on Twitter, Facebook and blogs each week. The project will be executive produced by Kosta along with Infomania’s David Nickoll, Will Ward and Roar Entertainment’s Jordan Tilzer.
*Untitled Amy Schumer: After her star-making turn at the Charlie Sheen roast, Amy Schumer will executive produce and develop a pilot and a stand-up special.
*Untitled Cyanide and Happiness: An animated show featuring the twisted humor of a world populated by glorified stick figures, from the creators of the Cyanide and Happiness web-comics. Kristipher Matthew Wilson, Robert Andrew DenBleyker, David McElfatrick and Matthew Melvin will serve as creators and executive producers on the project.
*Untitled Wyatt Cenac: A sketch narrative idea based on 1980s public affairs shows, hosted, written and executive produced by Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart). Joining him as a producer is Generate’s David Rath.
The previously announced offerings:
*Gregory Brothers: The group behind the Auto-Tune the News and the Bed Intruder Song will star in an ensemble comedy that features an up-and-coming music group trying to make it in the world of viral videos. The Gregory Bros., which includes Evan, Andrew, Michael and Sarah Gregory, will executive produce alongside Tom Scharpling, David Becky at 3Arts and Peyton Reed (The Break Up), who directed the pilot.
*My Mans: The comedy follows the adventures of two best friends, one who is constantly getting into trouble and the other who is always bailing him out. The weekly narrative weaves in and out of stand-alone sketches, and is executive produced by Naomi Odenkirk and Mark Provissiero. The project is written, performed and directed by Second City Chicago members Tim Robinson, Mark Raterman and Andy Miara, with Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Breaking Bad) serves as creative consultant.
*Review with Forrest MacNeil: The half-hour comedy stars Andrew Daly (as Forrest), who reviews not films, food or art but rather the most difficult experiences of life itself… by living them. In this case, he reviews anything that his TV audience throws at him on a zero-to-five star scale, from the adrenaline rush of stealing to the trauma of divorce to the harrowing effects of murder to the joy of anonymous sex. Daly will also pen the script and executive produce with Charlie Siskel.
*Time Trumpet: The satirical look at pop culture and current events, set 30 years in the future, will be executive produced by Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, HBO’s Veep), Chris Godsick and Laura Krafft.
*Untitled Anthony Jeselnik Project: Comedian Anthony Jeselnik will bring both his sharp sense of humor and his dark, twisted point-of-view to his comedy project. In addition to starring, Jeselnik will executive produce, alongside Tom Johnson and Mosaic Media Group’s Christie Smith.
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