Coming off the network's highest ratings to date, COMEDY CENTRAL is on a roll and focusing on the future by securing top talent and development deals in the network's 2007 and 2008 development slate, announced by Lauren Corrao, executive vice president, original programming and development, COMEDY CENTRAL.
Projects in development run the gamut from short-form and sketch/variety to scripted narrative and animation starring a cross-section of top comedic talent such as Lewis Black, David Alan Grier, Michael Ian Black, T. Sean Shannon, Larry the Cable Guy and JoKoy and feature top producers including Jamie Tarses, Robert Morton, Max Brooks, Scott Carter and David Sacks, and Jim Biederman.
"We've secured a strong, versatile slate of new projects that we feel will resonate with our core viewers," said Corrao. "We've been on a great run and are looking to continue our success with more original, creative and provocative programming in the coming year."
Shows that have been greenlit for pilot production include: "Night Writer," a short-form comedy from former "Saturday Night Live" head writer, T. Sean Shannon; "Held Up," a half-hour narrative about a bored bank teller who is held hostage in a double-robbery; "Michael Ian Black Doesn't Understand," a sketch show hosted by Michael Ian Black that examines one 'hot button' topic each week and provides comedic commentary through a combination of field and studio pieces; "Root of All Evil," a pilot that pits two people or topics against each other in a courtroom setting, presided over by Lewis Black; and an untitled animated half-hour comedy starring Larry the Cable Guy as a misguided, but well-intentioned, co-owner of a cable TV station.
Shows that have been given presentation deals include: "David Allen Grier's Chocolate News," a fake magazine show that covers urban pop culture topics; "The Watch List," featuring stand-up comedy and sketches from up-and- coming Middle Eastern-American comedians (already a hit on comedycentral.com) and an untitled project starring JoKoy with a racially diverse ensemble cast which will feature animation, sketch and stand-up.
Descriptions of all pilot pick-ups and presentation deals follow:
PILOTS (all titles listed are working titles)
"Held Up" is a half-hour narrative in which a bored bank teller's life changes dramatically when two teams of crazy robbers -- disguised as James Bond, Spiderman, Batman and Larry, Curly and Moe -- hold up his branch. The main characters are held hostage for the entire arc of the series and fall victim to the comedic version of The Stockholm Syndrome. "Held Up" is executive produced by Jamie Tarses, Alan Freedland, Alan Cohen and Gene Hong.
Larry the Cable Guy Animated Project
Created and written by Larry the Cable Guy, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, this animated half-hour stars Larry the Cable Guy as a misguided, but well- intentioned co-owner of a cable TV station. The station's other owner is a woman of class and taste who does not share his vision for programming, preferring instead a more traditional station line-up to Larry's outrageous, half-baked show ideas. They seldom agree on anything, but she is stuck with Larry and his programs. The pilot will be executive produced by Larry the Cable Guy, J.P. Williams, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow.
Michael Ian Black Doesn't Understand
"Michael Ian Black Doesn't Understand" is a sketch show hosted by Black ("The State," "Stella") that examines one "hot button" topic each week and provides comedic commentary on it through a combination of field and studio pieces. The pilot is executive produced by Black and Jim Biederman ("The Kids in the Hall," "The Howard Stern Radio Show"). Michael Showalter ("Stella") will co-executive produce with Ted Schachter, serving as producer.
"Night Writer" is a short-form comedy from former "Saturday Night Live" headwriter, T. Sean Shannon. The show includes live action sketches, animation shorts and voice-over stills and centers around a show writer in the midst of writing with the events occurring in real time. His distinct point- of-view sets up the comedy while various characters react to the sketches as they unfold. The comedy is inspired by Shannon's books, "Big Business," "Cough it Up" and "Bum Love."
Root of All Evil
"Root of All Evil" is a faux courtroom pilot that pits two people or topics against each other in a courtroom setting presided over by Lewis Black ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"), with a rotating group of comedians arguing that their client is the root of all evil. Examples of topics to be litigated are "Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney" and "chick flicks vs. video games." "Root of All Evil" is executive produced by Scott Carter ("Politically Incorrect," "Real Time with Bill Maher") and David Sacks ("The Simpsons," "Third Rock from the Sun").
David Allen Grier's Chocolate News
A fake magazine show that covers inherently urban pop culture topics. The correspondents will double as sketch players. Hosted by "In Living Color" alum and Tony Award nominee, David Alan Grier and executive produced by Grier (Little Man), Robert Morton ("Mind of Mencia") and Generate's Peter Aronson and Jordon Levin.
The JoKoy Project
A show featuring animation, sketch and stand-up which will star JoKoy at the center of a racially diverse ensemble cast. JoKoy will executive produce and Jamie Masada will produce.
The Watch List
"The Watch List" is a sketch/variety show that features material from some of the funniest up-and-coming Middle Eastern-American comedians. The show fuses a unique worldview with political satire to create edgy, intelligent, race-based comedy. Stand-up comic Dean Obeidallah (co-founder of the Arab- American Comedy Festival) and Emmy-winning writer Max Brooks ("Saturday Night Live") are the series' creators and producers. Having originally premiered as an original series on comedycentral.com, "The Watch List" is first broadband series that COMEDY CENTRAL has taken to pilot for a potential slot on the network's linear line-up.