EXCLUSIVE: This is the dream of every public access show: New York’s cult weekly program The Chris Gethard Show will be making the leap from the local Manhattan Neighborhood Network to Comedy Central. The cable network has ordered a pilot for TCGS, a live, interactive call-in show with roots at the UCB Theater NY, which blends talk, variety and game elements. It will be produced by Funny Or Die, looking to repeat the success it’s had with another Comedy Central talk show, new late-night entry @midnight, which was just picked up for 40 weeks. Brillstein Entertainment Partners is co-producing, with Gethard and Zach Galifianakis exec producing alongside Funny Or Die’s Will Ferrell, Owen Burke, Adam McKay and Mike Farah as well as Brillstein’s Brian Stern. TCGS, whose episodes often are based on original bits, has featured such guests as Galifianakis, Sean Combs, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, John Mulaney, Bobby Moynihan and Andrew WK. The show also is known for championing the Brooklyn music scene and New York’s fringe artists and oddballs.
Comedy Central Orders Pilot For New York Public Access Staple ‘The Chris Gethard Show’ From Funny Or Die, Zach Galifianakis
2ND UPDATE FRIDAY 7:50 AM: Comedy Central just officially announced the 40-week pickup for @midnight, whose production calendar will mirror that of Comedy Central’s other late-night shows, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. “We’re amazed at how quickly ‘@midnight’ has resonated with our fans,” said the …
Comedy Central‘s CC: Studios — the in-house creative initiative for the development of original digital comedy — today unveiled a development slate of six series greenlights and three series renewals. Projects include sketch/variety to animated to scripted narrative and feature talent including Kurt Braunohler, Dan St. Germain, Jillian Bell, Charlotte Newhouse and Ari Shaffir. The slate also features series from talent who have inked multiplatform deals with Comedy Central, including Jon Gabrus and Justin Tyler. From today’s announcement:
Pivot — the millennial-targeting network launched in August to “entertain and inspire activism” among 18- to 34-year-olds with its “completely different approach to television,” including a “very f—ed up, weird reality talk show” (said Pivot president Evan Shapiro) — today announced that the host of that very f—ed up, weird reality talk show, Meghan McCain, will interview her dad, Sen. John McCain, for the first time.
The interview, premiering Saturday, will feature Meghan asking Dad, among other things, how he turned “a crushing defeat into an inspiring comeback” during the ’08 presidential bid. In clips sent to the press today, Meghan also asked Dad how millennials “can overcome all the obstacles we are facing and still live a fulfilling life.” He said they need to be involved, but “it doesn’t have to be in the military,” ticking off a couple other ideas. More newsworthy, perhaps, Meghan asked Dad about his failed 2008 presidential race against now-President Obama and how he turned that concession speech — or, as Pivot at one point in its news release called it, his “confession speech” — from a “difficult moment into something that has turned out to be so beautiful.”
For the first time in South Park‘s 17-season, 240-ish-episode history, its creators blew deadline. Tonight’s episode did not get finished, Comedy Central said this afternoon. “On Tuesday night, South Park Studios lost power,” the network said. “From animation to rendering to editing and sound, all of their computers were down for hours, and they were unable to finish episode 1704 Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers in time for air tonight.” Said co-creator Trey Parker in a statement, “It sucks to miss an airdate, but after all these years of tempting fate by delivering the show last minute, I guess it was bound to happen.”
The new episode will air October 23. Tonight, Comedy Central will offer a rerun Live-Tweeted (I know, oxymoronic) presentation of Scott Tenorman Must Die at 10 PM ET/PT. The animated comedy series is much-loved by fans for its on-the-fly production schedule, which allows Parker and Matt Stone to weigh in very quickly on hot-button issues of that moment. Except when there’s a power outage that bites them in the backside.
Here’s an action shot of the South Park team dealing with the blackout. Check out a few more after the jump:
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that three veterans of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart – co-executive producers Adam Lowitt, Jennifer Flanz and Steve Bodow — are …
Comedy Central announced this morning it has dismantled its digital and linear departments in order to create an organization that better serves advertisers — and fans. David Bernath, Executive Vice President, Programming & Multiplatform Strategy now leads all programming for the Viacom network, and Walter Levitt, Chief Marketing Officer, is responsible for marketing across all platforms. Both Bernath and Levitt will continue to report to Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. The change isn’t such a surprise, following as it does the announcement earlier this year that Kent Alterman had been upped to President, Content Development & Original Programming, overseeing all content development for Comedy Central. “Our fans don’t use the word ‘digital’ to talk about content and now, neither do we,” Ganeless said.
From this morning’s announcement:
As Executive Vice President, Programming & Multiplatform Strategy, Bernath has expanded his responsibilities to include oversight for the strategy and programming of Comedy Central content across all platforms – linear TV, comedycentral.com, VOD, SVOD, mobile and new emerging platforms. This holistic approach to programming was evident when Comedy Central launched “Drunk History” across multiple platforms before its linear premiere, generating seven million sample views of the new show and driving Comedy Central’s most successful summer show launch since 2010.
Comedy Central’s new daily, late-night comedy competition, @midnight, hosted by Chris Hardwick and produced by Funny Or Die, will debut on October 21 when the network’s late-night block expands to 90 minutes. @midnight, which will air at midnight following The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, is taking a week-long jump on TBS’ new late-night entry, The Pete Holmes Show, which premieres in the same time slot on October 28. @midnight features a rotating lineup of today’s top comedians who will battle nightly to determine who has the funniest take on the day’s social media and pop culture happenings and wear the crown of funniest person on Earth (for the next 23½ hours).
Global Showbiz Briefs: Alison Owen To Keynote London Film Festival; ‘Almost Impossible Gameshow’ Production Begins
Producer Alison Owen Will Deliver Keynote At London Film Festival
The London Film Festival has announced that UK producer Alison Owen will deliver the keynote address later this month. Owen produced Saving Mr. Banks, the Tom Hanks-Emma Thompson starrer that closes the festival in its world premiere. Other sidebar events include Focus On Sustainability, which will be introduced by Colin Firth; cross-media forum Power To The Pixel; the Film London Production Finance Market; Understanding Kickstarter; and piracy and distribution workshop FindAnyFilm.com
Production Begins On ‘The Almost Impossible Gameshow’ Pilot
Viacom International Media Networks has started production on Comedy Central pilot The Almost Impossible Gameshow. The format was created and is produced by Endemol’s UK production company Initial. It features contestants who are given multiple attempts to complete five physical challenges for a cash prize. Executive producers are Steve Regan, VP Production at VIMN UK, and Lourdes Diaz, VP Development and Production for Comedy Central. At Initial, the show will be produced by Chris Lore and executive produced by Endemol UK’s head of entertainment Shaun Parry.
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “I’ve missed you so much — you don’t know what it’s like out there in the real world. Nobody applauds every stupid fucking thing you do!” Jon Stewart said in his return to The Daily Show last night. Viewers, meanwhile, may still be missing Stewart. The comic-turned-fake news show faux-anchor returned from Jordan, where he spent a good chunk of the summer directing his first feature film, showing telltale signs of a comic who has been through a life-changing experience and feels he should be doing something more serious.
After an opening taped bit in which his summer substitute John Oliver discovered how changed Stewart is, and tried in vain to get back the old Jon — instead turning him into Moses, Freddie Mercury, Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, and Hitler — Stephen Colbert is brought in and, for script purposes, successfully exorcised Stewart, so The Daily Show could start. Stewart took his anchor chair and brought out Oliver to receive praise. Not that Oliver needs it. He got great reviews filling in for Stewart this summer, which must have been a comfort to Viacom Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog tonight, knowing there can be life after Stewart for The Daily Show. Not that Herzog’s making plans to replace Stewart — but it’s got to be nice to know The Daily Show won’t fall off a cliff should this new Stewart just back from Jordon decide it’s time to move on.
About 3.1 million people watched the Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco last night — 2.4 million of them being adults 18-49, and 1.9 million in 18-34, with 1.2 million of that group being guys. Yes, Franco’s roast is up double digits compared to last year’s Roseanne roast, like Comedy Central said this afternoon — including the not-surprising 64% lift among 18-34 guys and the even less surprising 88% spike among 18-24 guys. But Franco wasn’t in the same league as Sheen, who’d clocked 6.4 million viewers when Comedy Central skewered him the same night CBS unveiled Sheen’s Two And A Half Men replacement, Ashton Kutcher. If you add in Comedy Central’s two replays of the Franco bashing/lovefest last night, during which he took a lot of heat for his epic Oscar sleep-hosting, the cume climbs to 5.2 million — still not up to Sheen’s premiere stats. The Franco roast premiere also did not match the 3.5 million who’d tuned in for Comedy Central’s David Hasselhoff roast in 2010 or the 3.48 million who caught the Donald Trump roast in 2011. And, in Roseanne’s defense, her Comedy Central bashing had aired at the same time NBC was clocking 30 million viewers with the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics.
Comedian Dave Attell is back in business with Comedy Central. The cable network has ordered its first-ever weekly late-night stand-up series hosted by Attell, who also will headline a one-hour stand-up special. The eight-episode series and the special, both executive produced by Attell and 3 Arts, will premiere in 2014. “When I was first approached for this, I thought someone said ‘Dave Chappelle,’ said Comedy Central’s Kent Alterman. “I immediately said yes. I love Dave Attell, too, so it’s fine.”