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IFC is adding a whole lot of comedy star power to its roster.
The cable network said Thursday that it has greenlighted two new shows: The Spoils of Babylon, a epic six-part spoof series that comes from Funny or Die and executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and The Birthday Boys, a television adaptation of the popular sketch troupe’s work, exec produced by Ben Stiller and Bob Odenkirk.
Babylon will tell the story of three generations of a prominent American family, framing itself as an adaptation of an epic novel in the vein of The Winds of War. The entirely fictional novel will have been written by an equally fictional author, Eric Jonrosh (Ferrell), and span a century of sex- and drink-fueled catastrophies, from war and illegal arms deals to the subprime mortgage disaster. In that sense, it’s like Dallas meets Forrest Gump, but ironically.
The show will come in half-hour installments, to be broadcast in late 2013. An ensemble cast has yet to be announced.
Stiller and Odenkirk, once partners on the breakthrough sketch comedy The Ben Stiller Show, will back a new generation of sketch actors. The Birthday Boys have found success with viral videos online and pitch the show as being in a vein similar to Monty Python and Mr. Show — the Emmy-nominated HBO series in which Odenkirk starred with David Cross from 1995-98.
IFC has made inroads with original content, including SNL star Fred Armisen‘s Portlandia, which he co-created with Carrie Brownstein. It also has broadcast Cross’ The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.
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