IFC has given flagship series Portlandia a two-season renewal. The 10-episode Season 4 and Season 5 of the off-beat comedy will premiere in early 2014 and early 2015, respectively. The Emmy-nominated series is created and written by stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and director Jonathan Krisel. Portlandia is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video. “Portlandia has celebrated sustainable local agriculture, underemployment, avian crafting, gender politics, intense bicycle messengers and so much more,” said IFC’s president and GM Jennifer Caserta. “We can now celebrate two more seasons.”
We already scooped the some of the top castings in The Spoils Of Babylon, IFC’s six-episode epic miniseries spoof produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die, including Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig and Haley Joel Osment. Now IFC has officially unveiled the cast of the project, which also includes Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Michael Sheen and Tim Robbins, as well as more details about the mini. Here is the release:
EXCLUSIVE: Haley Joel Osment is set to co-star opposite Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig in The Spoils Of Babylon, IFC’s six-episode miniseries produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die. In the vein of The Thorn Birds and Winds Of War, the epic story of The Spoils Of Babylon chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the Morehouse family who made their fortune in the oil business.
IFC today announced a slate of 11 comedy projects, including three pilot orders. Here are details:
TIMMS INDUSTRIAL PIPING (Pilot; working title)
A scripted comedy set in the fictional town of Timms Valley, Wisconsin, where the lives and livelihoods of its citizens are intertwined with the fate of the town’s biggest employer, Timms Industrial Piping. When the company’s founder and CEO goes missing in a plane crash, the lives of the characters are turned upside down. Shot in stop-motion animation with baby dolls repurposed as an array of adult characters, and modeled on 1980s primetime soaps like Dynasty, the show is written by Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Pursuit of Happyness), and created by Conrad, Jeff Dieter and Tom Glynn.
IFC has greenlit original scripted comedy series The Spoils Of Babylon, produced by Funny or Die, and The Birthday Boys, a sketch comedy series executive produced by Bob Odenkirk and Ben Stiller who first worked together on Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show.
The Spoils Of Babylon, which has received a six-episode order, is an adaptation of a best-selling novel by fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh (played by Ferrell). The blowsy century-spanning saga chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of a family who made their fortune in the oil business. Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live) co-wrote the script with Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre) who is directing. The two executive produce with Ferrell and McKay. “This is a crazy and maybe even a stupid idea,” said Will Ferrell. “IFC is either really courageous or really stupid which makes them the perfect partner for us.”
EXCLUSIVE: In the second seven-figure deal so far today at the Toronto Film Festival, IFC is acquiring U.S. rights to Byzantium, the vampire film by Neil Jordan that has festgoers feeling the filmmaker has returned to the terrain of Interview With The Vampire. I’m told that the deal coming together is several million dollars in minimum guarantee and marketing commitment. While IFC has been heavy into multiplatform, this film has designs on a theatrical release broadening out to several hundred screens.
Scripted by Moira Buffini, Byzantium stars Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley and Saoirse Ronan. It is produced by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. The story focuses on two vampires who are on the run from the past and who are hiding a terrible secret.
New York, NY (August 9, 2012) – IFC Films announced today the company is acquiring all U.S. rights to director Bill Guttentag’s (SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION) political drama KNIFE FIGHT. Guttentag wrote the screenplay with political consultant Chris Lehane, who served as White House advisor to President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton andserved as Vice President Al Gore’s press secretary. The film stars Rob Lowe,Jaime Chung, Julie Bowen, Richard Schiff, Saffron Burrows, Jennifer Morrison, David Harbour, EricMcCormack, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Guerrino De Luca and Catherine and Daniel Davila produced the film, with Lowe and William Green executive producing. KNIFE FIGHT had its world premiere earlier this year at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of “true believer” Paul Turner (Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office in KNIFE FIGHT. With the help of a bright young assistant (Chung) and a seedy operative (Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (McCormack), a blackmailed California senator (Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Moss). When the ugly side of Turner’s work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean.
IFC‘s bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect new half-hour drama Bullet In The Face allegedly made network execs shocked and nervous during a screening. Now comes our first peek at the series, about a German assassin-turned-cop who is without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying the …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When IFC and Sundance Channel president Evan Shapiro departed his post in April, the forthcoming IFC original comedy Bullet In The Face lost its biggest champion. And champions are exactly what a show like Bullet needs considering that the broad, over-the-top half-hour may be the most violent comedy in television history. According to sources, when IFC execs screened the six-episode series, there was shock and nervousness in the room. And now the controversial Bullet, which was not mentioned during IFC’s upfront presentation in March, is being scheduled in a very odd pattern: three episodes back-to-back on two consecutive nights, August 16 and August 17, from 10 PM-11:30 PM.
The uncertainty of what to do with Bullet In The Face is understandable. While its first three screened episodes show it to be uproarious and twisted, it’s also rife with cinematic-level violence and wildly politically incorrect imagery. It stars Canadian actor Max Williams as Gunter Vogler, a brutally psychopathic, deliriously misogynistic German assassin-turned-cop. The character is utterly without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying it with radically offensive invective. The blood spurts freely and often. Eric Roberts and Eddie Izzard co-star as wacko mob bosses. But here is the kind of stuff that may have spooked IFC into turning Bullet into a two-night event rather than a weekly series: We see Gunter in a church using a crucifix as a backscratcher and casually lumping former VP Dick Cheney with Hitler and Stalin in conversation. He mows down basketball players on a court as if taking target practice. It isn’t difficult to see watchdog groups taking offense at the material and using it to demonize IFC.
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: