Comedy Central has given an eight-episode order to stand-up series Adam Devine’s House Party, which will spotlight 24 of Adam Devine’s favorite up-and-coming comedians and is slated to premiere this fall. Produced by Avalon Television, the company behind Workaholics, Adam Devine’s House Party is executive produced by Devine, Avalon’s Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner, David Martin, Isaac Horne and Workaholics’ Kyle Newacheck, who will also direct the series. Combining stand-up and narrative sketches, House Party is set inside Devine’s Los Angeles mansion where each week three of his favorite comedians hang out at his massive house party and do stand-up in the backyard. “I don’t know how I convinced Comedy Central to give me another show, a Hollywood mansion and a paycheck for hanging out with my friends,” said Devine. “I hope they have a good lawyer and the fire department on speed dial.”
Founded in 2001, Artists Rights Group‘s client roster includes Daniel Radcliffe, Romola Garai, Richard E. Grant, Rupert Penry-Jones and Imelda Staunton. The London-based talent agency will continue to act independently within the Avalon Management Group, which acquired it from ALL3MEDIA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Avalon Group includes Avalon Management and TV producers Flame Television, Liberty Bell Productions, Tinderbox Television and Topical Television. Its Avalon Television division produces Comedy Central’s Workaholics and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show and the BBC’s Good News and Not Going Out, among others. Avalon Management’s clients include Oliver, Kristen Schaal and Russell Howard. ARG managing director Sue Latimer said of the deal, “We’re very excited about joining Avalon and expanding the areas of expertise and personal representation that we can provide to our clients.”
ITV1′s serial-killer drama Appropriate Adult leads this year’s Arqiva British Academy Television Awards nominations with four including lead actor for Dominic West and lead actress for Emily Watson. BBC One’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch is also among the top mentions, scoring nods for the acting duo of Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Downton Abbey, however, came up with only one nomination: for Dame Maggie Smith who plays the formidable Dowager Countess. The ceremony will take place in London on May 27. Nominees in the major categories follow; full list to come:
IFC has picked up a third season of breakout Portlandia, the cable network announced at its first ever upfront presentation today in New York on the heels of becoming an ad-supported network earlier this year. IFC also unveiled a programming slate that includes several new comedies. Among newcomers are the animated coming-of-age series Out There; the unscripted comedy/talk show Comedy Bang Bang, based on comedian Scott Aukerman’s podcasts; the comedy game show Bunk; and the tentatively titled Maron, inspired by the life of edgy comedian Marc Maron. In addition to Portlandia, other returning shows on the IFC slate include Whisker Wars, from Original Productions and a new installment of rapper R. Kelly’s “hip hopera” Trapped In The Closet (the original aired in 2007). Here is the release:
IFC has picked up two new scripted comedy series, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bunk (working title). Both have received orders for 10 episodes to premiere back-to-back in June as a one-hour original comedy block. “With popular shows like Portlandia and Todd Margaret currently on our air and now the addition of Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bunk, IFC is quickly becoming known as a destination for top comedic talent,” said IFC’s SVP oroginal programming Debbie DeMontreux.
Comedy Bang! Bang! is a sketch variety show featuring celebrity guests, comedy sketches, and animation. The series is hosted by Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis) and based upon his podcast of the same name. Music will be provided by the show’s resident one-man bandleader Reggie Watts. Comedy Bang! Bang! is produced for IFC by Abso Lutely Prods; Aukerman, Dave Kneebone and Leo Allen serve as executive producers.
Bunk, which came out of the New York TV Festival, is a game-show parody featuring a rotating lineup of comedian contestants performing absurd comedy challenges, created by Ethan T. Berlin and Eric Bryant and hosted by stand-up comedian Kurt Braunohler. The series is produced for IFC by Avalon Television; Eric Bryant, Ethan T. Berlin, David Martin, Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner serve as executive producers. Kurt Braunohler and Dan Lubetkin serve as co-executive producers.
NBC will tackle the thorny issue of Muslim-Jewish relations in a sitcom. The network has put in development a comedy series based on the 2010 British comedy feature The Infidel, with British-Iranian actor-comedian Omid Djalili, who starred in the movie, attached to reprise his role. Mark O’Keefe (Bruce Almighty, The O’Keefes) will write the adaptation, which is being produced by Avalon Television and the company behind the film, Slingshot Prods. The Infidel centers on a devoutly Muslim family man (Djalili) who is shocked to discover upon the death of his mother that he was adopted, and was actually born a Jew. Trying to make the best of his new identity, he places himself in the hands of a cab driving mentor, played in the movie by The West Wing alum Richard Schiff. Also co-starring in the cross-cultural feature comedy was The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi (trailer below). Djalili and O’Keefe will executive produce the series version with the film’s writer-producer David Baddiel, producer Arvind Ethan David and Avalon’s Jon Thoday. (O’Keefe, Avalon and Baddiel are with UTA.) In the U.S., the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was picked up by Showtime. It is unclear if that happened under Bob Greenblatt, who now bought the TV series project as head of NBC.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has put in development Evil Genius, a high-concept scripted comedy starring actor-comedian Paul F. Tompkins. The show, which Tompkins will write with Tom Scharpling (Monk), stars Tompkins as Professor Tiberius Lynch, an evil genius who has successfully taken over the world, achieving global domination. The only problem is — what should he do next? Being a genius doesn’t make it easier to navigate the everyday situations of office life, especially when that office is responsible for running absolutely everything on Earth. Lynch must contend with the quirks and foibles of his cohorts as well as the demands of the entire population of the planet, trying to pull off the ultimate balancing act.
Tompkins and Scharpling are executive producing Evil Genius with Avalon Television’s David Martin, John Thoday and Richard Allen Turner. Tompkins, repped by CAA and Avalon Management, hosted VH1′s Best Week Ever. Scharpling is with Rothman Brecher.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has handed out a pilot order to a half-hour project from comedian Matt Braunger and The Office writer-producer Brent Forrester. The two co-created and co-wrote the untitled comedy, which stars MadTV alum Braunger as a nice guy who works a crappy day job as a closed-captioner and at night gets into crazy escapades with his curmodgeony friend. Forrester is slated to direct the pilot and serve as showrunner. Avalon Television (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) is producing. Forrester, whose credits also include The Simpsons and King of the Kill, and Braunger are repped by UTA. Braunger, a frequent panel guest on Chelsea Lately, is also with Avalon Management.