This morning Comedy Central released its development slate for 2011-12. So, what does that mean? Basically, it’s a giant list of shows the network is officially working on for the next year. An incredibly small number of these shows will actually see the light of day. But it’s exciting nonetheless to see some great comedians making some huge strides in the business. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Perhaps the biggest name in the mix this year is Jeffrey Ross, who will attempt to turn his roasting skills into a weekly series. The dude has already written a book about the topic and is a fixture at the wildly popular Comedy Central Roasts— so it makes sense he’s working on a show called The Burn: The Roast Master General. The network says the show would feature Ross and his comic friends “roasting” that week’s popular news topics. It sounds promising and almost like a combination of Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn and Lewis Black’s Root Of All Evil.
And speaking of roasts, comedian Amy Schumer, who, although was already gaining momentum as a stand-up (she released her first album through Comedy Central Records), broke through this year when she appeared on Comedy Central’s Roast of Charlie Sheen. She’s set to develop a pilot for the network as well as star in her first hour-long stand-up comedy special.
Daily Show standout Wyatt Cenac, who also released his first stand-up album through Comedy Central this year, is working on an as-yet-untitled “sketch narrative idea based on 1980s public affairs shows,” according to the network. Cenac would host, write and executive produce the show.
It was also nice to see comedian Rob Delaney on the network’s list. If you’re reading this, you undoubtedly know the man’s work – and the way he does it, it is art – on Twitter. His tweets have certainly landed him some opportunities but this is arguably the biggest of his career. He’s already shot the pilot for @Delaney, a variety show of sorts.
“Essentially it’s a talk variety show fueled by Twitter,” Delaney told Laughspin today. “It’s not about Twitter, rather, it’s about the jokes. Just taking events, culture, politics from Twitter and turning them into killer jokes in front of an audience. The pilot was incredibly fun to shoot. We had a huge audience made up of my beautiful Twitter followers and some incandescently famous special guests. It’s fair to say it’s old-fashioned and space-aged at the very same time. It’s also fair (and legal) to say that viewing the show will heal STDs and rickets.”
The prolific and versatile Eugene Mirman is also hard at work for Comedy Central. And although he’s known mostly as a stand-up comedian and author, we’ve all enjoyed watching his viral videos, television appearances and most recently his voice work on Fox’s animated show Bob’s Burgers. So headlining a sketch show called Eugene! isn’t a stretch for the man. And with the absurdist sketch play of Demetri Martin gone from the network since 2010, it’s about time we get another dose of smart comedy in sketch form. No offense, Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time.
Comedy Central also liked what they saw in comedian Michael Kosta, who this year, was seen in his own half hour stand-up special for the network as well as backstage at the Emmys, as he hosted the live behind-the-scenes interview show for ABC. He also snagged $10,000 in March after winning a 10-comedian stand-up competition at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids, MI.
He hosted a pilot called Overloaded, which we hear is being tested in Las Vegas on Dec. 15. “The idea originally came from the way I feel about social media,” Kosta told Laughspin today. “[I was] totally overwhelmed and annoyed but also had a strong feeling of obligation, especially as a comedian, to be involved,” adding, “think late-night talk show with more moving parts and me at a desk.”
And it looks like Comedy Central may be trying their hand at another semi-traditional, scripted comedy show. It’s something they’ve been cautious about in the past. Remember Big Lake last year? It didn’t get re-upped for a second season but the network’s newest scripted show Workaholics has broken network ratings records. And comedian Matt Braunger will attempt the next one in a show simply titled Braunger, which the network describes as a single-camera scripted comedy based on “man child” Braunger. If you’ve been watching NBC’s Up All Night, you know Braunger as one half of Will Arnett and Christina Applegate’s annoying-as-hell Type-A married couple. You love to hate him.
Comedy Central’s development slate also includes the animated show Robots which comedian Kumail Nanjiani (TNT’s Franklin & Bash) is working on with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. And the likes of Jon Glaser, Laura Kightlinger, Joe Mande, Bob Odenkirk and Duncan Trussell are writing for a show of animated shorts called TripTank.
You may remember that Comedy Central already announced s development deal with Anthony Jeselnik, who told us in August that he’s working on “a very dark, personality-driven show.” Other previously-announced artists and projects in development include the Gregory Brothers, a narrative sketch show called My Mans (Bob Odenkirk is a creative consultant); Andy Daly, who’s writing and starring in Review, a show centered around his character who reviews life experiences the way movie critics review films; and Time Trumpet, a futuristic and satirical look at current events and pop culture.
That’s a lot to digest. But we want to know which shows you’re rooting for. Sound off in the comments section!