Building on the cult success of Portlandia and the impending debut of cult comedian Marc Maron’s sitcom, IFC announced a development slate of 11 scripted comedies today, which cumulatively show the Network Formerly Known As The Independent Film Channel continuing its efforts to rebrand itself as Alt-Comedy Central.
The network ordered three interesting-on-paper pilots. Garfunkel & Oates stars the titular comedy-folk duo Riki Lindholme and Kate Micucci playing fictionalized versions of themselves. International Plan stars Michael Blieden and Eric Ledgin, a pair of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writers…who play fictionalized versions of themselves. (In this case, they’re “two newly single guys who travel around the world looking for love, and in the process form an invaluable friendship.” It’s filming in Stockholm: Countdown to jokes about blondes/ABBA/Dragon Tattoo begins now.) Lastly is Timms Industrial Piping, a riff on Dynasty-era primetime soaps shot using stop-motion animation with repurposed baby dolls. The voice cast currently includes Elizabeth Banks, Giancarlo Esposito, John Lithgow, Maria Bamford, and Nick Kroll, so if nothing else the recording studio sounds like a lot of fun.
IFC also took the intriguing step of listing eight scripts it has currently ordered, from an eclectic array of comedy talents:
-American Storage is about a storage-facility employee who befriends a man living in a storage unit, from the guys who wrote Seth Rogen’s next movie.
-Cult Following is about two friends who run a health food restaurant and accidentally become cult leaders; it’s co-written and co-starring Upright Citizens Brigade co-Founder Matt Besser and already sounds better than Cult.
-God’s Work sees Professor Blastoff co-host Kyle Dunnigan playing various characters in a Connecticut community.
-Jetpackula is a supernatural buddy comedy — “part Terminator, part X-Files, part Mork and Mindy” — from Sarah Silverman Program producer Rob Schrab.
-Stupid Life is based on creator Chris Gethard’s memoir.
-Trigger Men is an action comedy based on a graphic novel.
-Two Idiots is a bananas-sounding sitcom about two women raised in a Beverly Hills hotel who, per the plot description, have a “beleaguered butler” and a “remedial shared boyfriend”; to put the cherry on top, Megan Mullally is the co-creator.
-And then there’s WASPS, about a family that loses all their money until they have nothing except for their shared ownership of an enormous family mansion.
IFC’s announcement comes in the midst of an aggressive development slate from Comedy Central, which has recently debuted Kroll Show, The Jeselnik Offensive, The Ben Show, and Nathan For You, with Inside Amy Schumer fast approaching. Notably the IFC shows do not have names in their titles.* So let’s all start talking about the bitter comedy-network rivalry between IFC and Comedy Central.
*Well, no real names. (See: Garfunkel & Oates.)
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