Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
A significant group of Australian TV dramas and comedies, plus the film Animal Kingdom, have been the subject of U.S. remake deals in the past year. There are more in the offing and the growing trend has Oz producers considering strategies for the future of format sales. “Format deals deliver longer term, and less certain returns,” notes Nicky Davies Williams, CEO of DCD Rights, which handled global sales of The Slap, an Oz drama that NBC is prepping for an eight-episode limited series. Producers usually can’t sell remake rights up front because they need the higher license fees from local and international broadcasters to finance their productions. “You hope that everything you do is remakeable, but ultimately what you’re aiming for is that the original version gets screened in other territories,” says Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres who’ll be an exec producer on the remade Slap. The original was an award-winning success at home in 2011 and also went out in such territories as the U.S., the UK and Israel. READ MORE »
Comedy Central‘s midseason schedule includes series premieres of five original shows and the return of staples like the Season 5 opener of Tosh.0 (February 5th), the second season of The Burn With Jeff Ross (January 8th) and new episodes of Workaholics (January 16th). “To have even one show you know for sure will change the world is amazing, but to have eight that won’t is also noteworthy,” said Kent Alterman, the network’s head of original programming and production, in making the announcement today. Here’s the full schedule of series and stand-up specials: Read More »
Comedy Central has handed sketch comedy series Key & Peele a third-season renewal. The 13-episode third cycle of the show starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele will premiere next fall. Key & Peele was a breakout hit when … Read More »
UPDATE, 6:42 PM: Comedy Central has issued a response to the “stop working” email from the WGA sent out earlier today. “We’re continuing to move forward on our negotiations with the Writers Guild and are hopeful that we’ll come to an agreement soon,” they told Deadline.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:53 PM: The Writers Guild today sent out an email telling its members that they are not to work for “uncovered” Comedy Productions shows. The company is the production arm of Comedy Central. The WGA West says that the company is not a signatory to the Guild agreement despite the claim that Central Productions has been telling people it is. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report do have contracts with the WGA East and are not a part of this action. Deadline is told that only a handful of Comedy Central shows do not have full agreement with the WGA so any work stoppage would be limited. The WGA’s email today comes as the company and the Guild are in the middle of negotiations on a comprehensive contract. Read the WGA email below:
Dear Writers Guild Member,
We are writing to alert you that you must refrain from writing for Central Productions, the production arm of Comedy Central, without first contacting the WGAW contracts department(323-782-4501) to ensure that the writing is Guild-covered. If you are currently writing on a Central Productions project, please contact us immediately. Central Productions is not signatory to the MBA, and if there is no Guild contract in place specifically for the project you are working on, you are now required under Working Rule 8 to stop writing.
Gary S. Mann has developed series like The Sarah Silverman Show, Tosh.0 and collaborated on Key & Peele, The Burn with Jeff Ross and the upcoming Review With Forrest MacNeil since joining the network in 2003. He is based … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Comedy Central has picked up freshman animated comedy Brickleberry for a second season to premiere in fall 2013. The second-season order is for 13 episodes, up from 10 episodes for the current first season. Brickleberry, executive produced by Daniel Tosh, has done well airing behind Tosh’s hit Tosh.0 on Tuesday. The animated comedy, which revolves around a group of dysfunctional park rangers at a second-tier national park, premiered on September 25 to 1.7 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49. Its strength has been young male demos, which are coveted by advertisers. Seven weeks into the run, Brickleberry is averaging 1.8 total million viewers each week and is the second-highest-rated series in its time slot with men 18-34 and men 18-24 in all of television. “We are happy to continue educating America’s youth about nature, and the national conservation movement,” commented Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s Head of Original Programming and Production. Read More »
Comedy Central went live tonight at 8 PM with their Election Night coverage. But within minutes Obama won re-election and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert barely had time to deliver a punch line. The Daily Show’sDemocalypse 2012 started off with a plethora of journalistic cameos including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Bob Schieffer, NBC’s Tom Brokaw a hologram of Edward R. Murrow and “Anderson Cooper and his golden saxophone.” Patrick Stewart did the intro voice-over. Stewart opened the show with a list of states and Senate races that have already been called. Mitt Romney, Stewart announced, has won “most of the Confederacy”. NBC called Obama’s victory at 8:12 PM but the Daily Show still continued with segments for several minutes. One segment threw Presidential politics forward to 2016 with a fake pundit panel projecting that Hilary Clinton had a 68% chance of victory over Jeb Bush. At 8:21 PM PT, Stewart finally said, “the Presidency is projected to stay in control of the Democratic Party. We are projecting Barack Obama is the President of the United States.” The studio audience went crazy. “House of Representatives, Republican. Senate, Democrats. Presidency, Barack Obama. Two years, $3 billion dollars and we are clearly in the same fucking place we were when it started,” Stewart quickly added. The swearing was blanked out by Comedy Central. In 2008, Stewart and Colbert announced Obama’s win during that year’s live Presidential race show.
Elizabeth Porter was SVP Specials and Talent Development at Comedy Central, where she worked on stand-up and narrative projects including the expansion of the network’s roast franchise. Now she will become EVP Development and Series at Relativity Media’s TV division, where she will oversee series and pilots for unscripted as well as spearhead a push into scripted content. “The opportunity to be a part of launching a scripted arm on top of what is already an incredibly successful unscripted business, weaves together everything I love about the development of voices and story in both unscripted and scripted shows”, she said in the release announcing the move. Porter previously was VP Alternative Programming at USA Network, where she developed and launched the first two seasons of Nashville Star and oversaw the AFI Life Achievement Award special. Read More »
The network has picked up an eight-episode series for the weekly show. Triptank will debut on Comedy Central in the fall of 2013. The show will be an amalgamation of animated comedy shorts created by a varied list … Read More »
Comedy Central has given a pilot order to Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the comedy duo behind the urban-set web series Broad City. The pilot will be based on the Jacobson/Glazer web series and will star the two Upright Citizens Brigade alums. Broad City will be executive produced by Jacobson and Glazer, along with UCB co-founder Amy Poehler, Poehler’s manager, 3 Arts’ Dave Becky, and Jacobson and Glazer’s manager Samantha Saifer. Tony Hernandez is Co-Executive Producer. The project was originally set up at FX last fall. “Amy Poehler told me this would be a great show for us, and that’s good enough for me,” said Comedy Central’s head of original programming Kent Alterman.
Broad City follows two girls, played by Jacobson and Glazer, throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. (see trailer below.) The series has been nominated for the ECNY’s Best Web Series award; Jacobson and Glazer also were nominated individually. Read More »
Tosh.0, Comedy Central‘s highest-rated and most-watched series, has been picked up for a 30-episode fifth season to premiere in January. Said star/executive producer Daniel Tosh, “It’s hard for me to get excited about anything when the Miami … Read More »
CNN is made up of witches and Fox News is untrustworthy because an Australian runs it. That’s what Comedy Central is skewering the cable news networks with in new ads. Coming out of two weeks of Republican and Democratic convention coverage, the network put out two new spots today promoting its The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report‘s “Indecision 2012” coverage of the presidential election. It could work out for them: Last week, Comedy Central beat out Fox News, MSNBC and CNN’s coverage of the Republican Convention in key demographics. Check out the new spots here:
Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show continues its coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions tonight at 11 PM with the debut of Barack Obama: It Could Have Been Worse, a “short bio film” narrated by Larry David. It should land some eyeballs as the Comedy Central flagship series has … Read More »
The fake news shows beat the real news at the GOP convention in Tampa last week. Among the adults 18-34, men 18-34 and men 18-24 demographics, Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report were more viewed and higher-rated than Fox News, CNN and MSNBC in the 11 PM-midnight time slot. Among adults 18-34, Comedy Central pulled in a 0.8 rating and 450,000 viewers compared to FNC’s 0.59 and 329,000 viewers during the hour. MSNBC got a 0.29 rating and 158,000 viewers while CNN had 0.26 and 146,000 viewers.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has handed out a pilot order to Tiny Apartment, executive produced, written by and starring Jessie Cantrell, Mike O’Gorman and Pat Driscoll. Based on the trio’s Web series of the same name, Tiny Apartment centers around a young couple, Jessie (Cantrell) and Mike (O’Gorman), living in a … Read More »