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TBS missed out on airing the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year, but the cable network has come up with another bracket-style contest — this one involving a host of prominent comedians.
The WarnerMedia-owned outlet has greenlit seven episodes of Tournament of Laughs, which will feature 32 comics going head-to-head for bragging rights as a comedy champion. Jason Sudeikis will serve as host and color commentator for the remotely produced series, which premieres June 21.
“We may be without some of our favorite sports right now but we can still partake in some fierce rivalries,” said Brett Weitz, general manager of TNT, TBS and truTV. “These comics promise to bring the funny each week, but the audience will get to decide who gets the last laugh.”
Each week, the comics will film, produce and star in their own videos, ranging from stand-up sets to song parodies and whatever else they can dream up. Viewers will vote on the winner of each matchup until the final, when a panel of comedy experts will crown the winner.
Comedians set to take part in the show are Jeff Ross, Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Judah Friedlander, Michael Rapaport, Jim Norton, Fortune Feimster, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Natasha Leggero, Cameron Esposito, Godfrey, The Sklar Brothers, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Josh Wolf, Clayton English, Yamaneika Saunders, Gina Yashere, Tim Dillon, Moshe Kasher, Jessica Kirson, Paul Rodriguez, Sarah Tiana, Matteo Lane, Beth Stelling, Vladimir Caamano, Ian Edwards, Aida Rodriguez, Megan Gailey, Preacher Lawson and Piff The Magic Dragon, with two additional performers still to be named.
The production will also make donations to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Black Lives Matter.
Tournament of Laughs joins a growing number of remotely shot shows that includes Fox’s Celebrity Watch Party, Nickelodeon’s Group Chat and Game Face and a host of specials that have aired during the novel coronavirus pandemic. With full studio production not yet back online, producers have begun figuring out ways to polish remotely shot programs so that they better resemble a typical production than things filmed in the early days of the production shutdown.
Tournament of Laughs comes from The Jay & Tony Show, with Jay Blumenfield, Tony Marsh and showrunner Pip Wells executive producing.
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