IFC ramping up in comedy arena

2009-10 slate includes project starring Chris Kattan

IFC is going for laughs with its 2009-10 slate, which includes projects starring "Saturday Night Live" alum Chris Kattan and punk food princess Thu Tran.

"We're making huge strides in the comedy genre by creating nontraditional original series that appeal to our core base of men 18-34," said Jennifer Caserta, executive vp and GM of IFCtv.

IFC's new original series include "Food Party," which premieres June 9, a surreal mixture of puppets, weird special effects and cooking hosted by Tran.

The previously announced "Bollywood Hero," which airs Aug. 6-8, is an original three-part comedy miniseries centering on Kattan, who plays himself as he moves to India, where he's been promised a starring role in a Bollywood film.

The mini, which co-stars Julian Sands, Neha Dhupia, Ali Fazal and Pooja Kumar, is co-produced by Starz Media and executive produced by Kattan and Snackaholic's Ted Skillman and Belisa Balaban.

"Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)," which premieres Oct. 4, is a six-part series featuring interviews with the surviving Python members, along with archive representation for the late Graham Chapman.

IFCtv also said it has greenlighted its first original telefilm, "Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter," based on Hamilton's series of best-selling paranormal fantasy novels about a street-savvy, down-to-earth vampire hunter with a lousy dating life and a penchant for bringing people back from the dead.

The film, which begins production in the summer for a 2010 premiere, is produced by Lionsgate and After Dark Films and adapted by Glen Morgan, who serves as executive producer.

"Dinner With the Band," also slated for next year, is hosted by New York chef Sam Mason, who cooks up his favorite dishes with his favorite indie bands.

IFC also said it has renewed the series "Z-Roc" and "The Whitest Kids U Know" and has acquired the BBC series "Ideal" and "Wrong Door" and Canadian import "The Jon Dore Television Show."