EXCLUSIVE: IFC‘s SVP Original Programming Debbie DeMontreux has resigned. Her last day is today, and a search is underway for a replacement. “After 25 years with the company, Debbie DeMontreux has decided to leave to pursue new opportunities,” IFC said in a statement to Deadline. “She has made a significant contribution to the success of IFC and we wish her all the best.” DeMontreux oversaw the development and production of IFC’s original series, including Portlandia; Comedy Bang! Bang!; Out There; Maron; R. Kelly’s hip-hop opera Trapped In The Closet, which is returning for a new installment; as well as the upcoming limited series The Spoils Of Babylon, from Funny or Die and Will Ferrell, and sketch comedy series The Birthday Boys, produced by Ben Stiller and Bob Odenkirk. While several IFC shows have achieved cult status and Portlandia has been raking in awards nominations, the network is yet to reach a wider audience the way its sibling AMC has — something the network is hoping for with the high-profile and star-studded The Spoils Of Babylon.
Fred Armisen let us know he was leaving Saturday Night Live back in May — we just couldn’t hear him. “I think it’s clear. I didn’t do any kind of official announcements, but I really felt like it was obvious,” he said in an interview with Splitsider, making us feel pretty silly for wondering all these weeks. He’s referencing the May 18 SNL season wrapper, in which the final sketch featured him, Bill Hader, Jason Sedeikis and Taran Killam as Brit rockers on the final night of their tour. Another clue we missed: Armisen’s Portlandia co-star Carrie Brownstein was among the musicians onstage. Armisen, in Friday’s interview, called it “an ending that was a love letter to all the music I grew up with, and also to my friends and to SNL and to [exec producer] Lorne [Michaels] and to the cast.” Armisen said he left, after 11 years on the NBC late-night show, because it put him in good company: Hader was leaving, and Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg had left. And, besides, Portlandia was taking more of his time. Plus, he explained, it was “just a feeling.”
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.”
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:
Three episodes into original, short-based comedy series Portlandia, IFC has renewed for a second season. The network has picked up 10 half-hour episodes of the series created, written by and starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Portland-native Carrie Brownstein for a January 2012 premiere. IFC only released cumed audience for the first 3 episodes: 1.1 million total viewers, more than 700,000 adults 18-49. Portlandia, based on web series ThunderAnt, which Armisen and Brownstein produced together, is shot entirely on location in Portland and is directed, co-created and co-written by Jonathan Krisel. It is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video.
IFC has greenlit “Portlandia,” an original short-based comedy series about the people and values of Portland, Ore. SNL‘s Fred Armisen and singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein star. Armisen and Brownstein will write the series with Allison Silverman and Jonathan Krisel. The series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Portlandia begins production later this month and is shot entirely on location in Portland.