Emmy and WGA award winner Brian McCann has joined FX’s Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell as a producer and writer. “In 1995 my Chicago Bulls knew they were one piece away from a championship. They shocked the world by acquiring Dennis Rodman, best known for his incredible rebounding, his will to win, and unpredictability,” said Bell in a statement Thursday. “Totally Biased has just acquired Brian McCann, best known for his incredible run with Conan O’Brien, his will to get laughter at any cost, and his unpredictability. He is our Dennis Rodman. We are now ready to win.” Before his move over to the FX series, McCann spent 17 years working with Conan O’Brien on NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and Conan on TBS. Having debuted as a weekly show on FX in August 2012, Totally Biased is scheduled to move over to the new FXX when it launches in September. The half hour show will also expand to five nights a week. Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell comes from Bell and Executive Producers Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar and Keri Smith Esguia. The series is produced by FX Productions.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The subject of violence was raised during the morning TCA panel for the weekly FX late-night talk show Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, as it has been during every panel of TCA thus far. Not that there’s any violence in Bell’s show, per se. But exec producer Chris Rock has famously riffed on gun control in his own stand-up comedy act, ranting that there should be no restriction on guns, but bullets ought to cost $5,000 apiece. “The gun lobby also says people need to be able to protect their property,” Rock said, “but every mass shooting is done by guys who live with their mother. So I believe you should need to have a mortgage to buy a gun. A mortgage is a real background check. Even if you go to jail for 30 years, you’ve still got to pay your fucking mortgage.”
Rock was asked if he’d maybe like to get back into the talk show game himself. “Well, a part of me would want to do it,” he said. “I just don’t know if I could do it all the time. Michael Jordan could play one game and score 50, but he couldn’t do it the next night. I just don’t care about Lindsay Lohan. Maybe if this show is successful, I can be like Barbara Walters on The View and just step up and be funny and then leave.” And if Rock were to do his own scripted comedy series, he would want the same do-everything-yourself model that Louis C.K. has at FX. “I’d want nothing less than that,” he said.
FX has now extended both of its late-night comedy series. After ordering seven more episodes of Russell Brand‘s Brand X in July, the cable network has now done the same with Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell. The show, executive produced by Chris Rock, will wrap its six-episode first cycle Thursday at 11 PM. The second cycle will begin October 11 in a new 11:30 PM time period, following the return of the revamped BrandX With Russell Brand that night at 11 PM. “What we’ve seen through five shows only reinforces our belief that Kamau is one of the sharpest, smartest and funniest young comedians in the business,” said FX EVP Nick Grad. “He brings an interesting perspective to late-night TV and has proven to be very comfortable in this format.”