IFC is looking to expand their audience reach with three new comedy pilots, the network announced on Wednesday. IFC ordered pilots from Community showrunner and writer Dan Harmon, Jim Norton of Inside Amy Schumer and Louie fame, and Sara Schaefer of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Discussing the pilot orders, IFC president Jennifer Caserta shared her confidence of the possible new programming.
“These pilots represent an exciting, aggressive move for us into the alternative comedy format space as we continue to expand our programming reach. All of the talent fits our brand so we can’t wait for them to bring their individual, distinctive voices to IFC.”
Great Minds will be executive produced and hosted by Harmon. Similar to that of Comedy Central’s A Drunk History, Harmon’s comedy panel pilot will feature an array of comedians portraying historical figures while discussing current trending news topics, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The pilot is the creation of The Daily Show’s Richard Korson. The IFC ordered pilot will include Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live) as Albert Einstein, The Daily Show’s Rory Albanese set to take on Benjamin Franklin, Bonnie McFarlane (Women Aren’t Funny) as Eleanor Roosevelt, and comedian Seaton Smith (Mulaney) as Frederick Douglass.
Harmon should have plenty of time for the project following actor Joel McHale’s announcement that Community has been canceled. McHale did share, however, that the series could make a comeback in the form of a big screen feature.
Sara Schaefer’s pilot, 1320 Seconds, is described as a satire news show that will be hosted by a group of female correspondents and one male host. The pilot will delve deep into their views and observations on culture. Schaefer will serve as an executive producer along with Jon Zimelis, Jason Nadler, and Alex Blagg of Serious Business.
In addition, comedian Jim Norton will bring his take on current events in the form of a half-hour, late-night talk show. Norton is expected to sit down with special guest stars from the world of comedy, TV, music, and more to discuss the latest happenings in an honest and open forum. Norton will executive produce the series with Suzanne Fagel (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell) and producer Matador.
The IFC pilot orders will allow the network to compete in the late night programming arena. The network plans to begin shooting the trio this fall.
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