News Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • Jason Reitman sells dysfunctional family comedy to Hulu

    Acclaimed director Jason Reitman is getting into the TV game. Having directed such films as Up in the Air and Juno, Reitman will direct and executive produce a new comedy series for Hulu. According to THR, Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for ten episodes of a dysfunctional family comedy called Casual.

    Casual revolves around a family with “a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating (online and off), while living under one roof again and raising a teenager.” Zander Lehmann will write the series.

    Reitman commented, “I’ve long looked for the right first step into episodic storytelling. In Zander Lehmann, I have found the perfect collaborator. His writing is hilarious and provocative.” Lehmann will also produce alongside Reitman and Helen Estabrook.

    Production is set to begin later this year for a 2015 series debut.


    Fox buys supernatural comedy from ’30 Rock’ writer Colleen McGuinness

    Former 30 Rock writer/producer Colleen McGuinness has sold her second pilot this year. According to Deadline, McGuinness has sold a single-camera comedy to Fox and is getting some very big names to help her with it. A-Listers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have signed on as producers alongside McGuinness and Jennifer Todd.

    The untitled show centers around “a 25-year-old woman who works at a frozen yogurt shop and whose life is going nowhere – until she discovers she is telekinetic.” This comes on the heels of McGuinness’ other untitled comedy she sold to NBC. Fellow 30 Rock co-workers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are co-producing the comedy described as “character-driven workplace comedy where a young woman in search of reconnecting with her father finds a new home and family on Fire Island.

    McGuinness was a writer for seasons six and seven on 30 Rock, and last year was a supervising producer for About A Boy.

    Cristela Alonzo’s debut album ‘Some of the Hits’ to be released on November 4th

    Comedy Central Records is rolling out two big releases next week. In addition to Nick Vatterott’s album, Cristela Alonzo is drop her debut album Some of the Hits on Tuesday, November 4th.

    Alonzo is having herself one hell of a year. The comedian was named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” and created and stars in her own ABC sitcom Cristela. Alonzo has also had her own Comedy Central Half Hour special, and has performed on Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution, Last Comic Standing, Showtime’s Legally Brown, and Live at Gotham.

    Alonzo recorded her first album live at the San Jose Improv. You can pre-order Cristela Alonzo: Some of the Hits on iTunes now. You can check out Cristela Fridays at 8:30 est on ABC.

    Nick Vatterott’s debut album ‘For Amusement Only’ to be released November 4th

    One of the most dynamic performers today will be releasing his debut album next week. New York comedian Nick Vatterott’s first ablum For Amusement Only hits digital and wooden (maybe metal? I don’t know) shelves on November 4th via Comedy Central Records.

    For his first album, Vatterott returned to his old stomping ground of Chicago to record at Chicago Comedy Underground at the Beat Kitchen. During his time in the Midwest, Vatterott was named Chicago’s Funniest Man by “Chicago Magazine” in 2010. Since then he has performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, was named the 2011 recipient of the Andy Kaufman Award, had his own Comedy Central Half Hour special, and has performed on Conan as well as an incredibly memorable set on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Vatterott was also producer/writer/performer on the late great stand-up/sketch show Mash Up on the CC network.

    You can pre-order Nick Vatterott: For Amusement Only now on iTunes, here. Also, if you’re near NYC you can catch Vatterott’s album release show at The Stand on November 7th part of the New York Comedy Festival. Tickets are on sale now.

    Amazon buys comedy service Rooftop Media

    Many comedians around the country have benefited from being a part of Rooftop Comedy’s stand-up video library. The comedy service will benefit greatly from a new boost in audience size now that they will become a part of the Inc.

    According to DailyMail, Amazon has bought Rooftop Media in another effort to increase their online digital services to compete with fellow powerhouse Netflix. The ten-person San Francisco-based company records sets from comedians at clubs around the country and licenses the digital rights to thousands of hours of comedy. The company’s partners include Apple, Yahoo, SiriusXM, Pandora, and Spotify. With this new development, Rooftop will now become part of Amazon’s audio book service Audible, vastly increasing their audience size.

    ABC cancels freshman sitcom “Manhattan Love Story”

    Fall television has its first casualty. According to Deadline, ABC has canceled one of it’s new fall programs, freshman sitcom Manhattan Love Story. The Tuesday night rom-com hit a terrible low with a rating of 0.7 in adults 18-49.

    The series centered around the journey of a new couple and the questions they are actually thinking about from the moment they begin a relationship. The female lead played by Top Model-turned actor, Analeigh Tipton, was unfortunately the show’s biggest name on the cast and the show’s lack of advertising could have lead to the show’s downfall. Honestly, this is a recurring theme. It’s a wonder why networks do not take the time to promote all their shows pretty evenly. If you’re going to spend the money on a script and cast and crew, you need to market it accordingly. I mean, what did you expect to happen?

    In the show’s absence, lead-in sitcom Selfie will run back-to-back episodes. Fellow ABC comedies A To Z and Bad Judge could be next as they are slipping mightily in the rankings. We’ll have to wait and see.

    DirecTV orders ‘Downton Abbey’ parody series ‘The Britishes’

    DirecTV snags an original TV series with The Britishes. According to Deadline, the show is a Downton Abbey parody starring Peter Serafinowitz and Will Sasso. Made of a collection of sketches, the series follows a similar absurdist sensibility as the iconic Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

    “The Britishes revolves around the absurd, class-obsessed, extremely British residents of an Edwardian-era English estate off the fictional “coast of Knob.” With roots so deep in aristocracy that their surname is actually “British,” the family has fought through the decades—against progress, against technology and, essentially, against all common sense—in an effort to preserve a regal way of life. The Britishes are a dying breed, hysterically desperate to uphold tradition as the world around them becomes more modern.”

    The series is the first TV project under production house Big Breakfast, the production team of CollegeHumor Originals. President Sam Reich will write and direct the series which will air on DirecTV’s Audience Network on October 28th. Read More

    TBS orders ‘Lost’-esque deserted island comedy ‘Wrecked’

    TBS is more than just Friends reruns (although there’s nothing wrong with those). According to Deadline, the network recently has ordered a new comedy to join its original series library (Ground Floor, Cougar Town) with a pilot order for Wrecked. The deserted island comedy has been described as Lost meets It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    The single-camera show follows two best friends, along with an extremely diverse group of survivors of a terrible plane crash, who must adjust to life in a dangerous new world that poses unique threats which they mostly bring upon themselves. The series was written by up-and-comers Justin and Jordan Shipley, and produces by Jess Hara. Wrecked joins other TBS comedy projects in development, including the family vacation anthology series Quality Time from The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee and Jason Jones.

    Sam Grittner is recording his first album November 21st in NYC

    New York comedian Sam Grittner is recording his debut album this fall. Grittner will be recording his album, Poor Decisions, Expensive Mistakes, at NY’s  Treehouse Theater (formerly This Theater) on November 21st. Joining him will be comedians Emmy Blotnick, Luke Thayer, Todd Mole, and Abbi Crutchfield, who will open the show. Grittner first announced the recording on his website.

    “Last November my friend Mo Fathelbab (founder of the comedy label THE EXPERIMENT and a jovial, fantastic human being) approached me and asked me if I wanted to do a stand-up residency at a room in a bar in Brooklyn for one year. The proposal was I would perform 8-10 minutes every Tuesday for a year  and when the year was up, record my first album.”

    In addition to stand-up, Grittner is a regular contributor to His writing has been featured on MSNBC, Mashable, The Huffington Post, and He also created @TonightonGIRLS, an absurdist homage to the HBO show ‘GIRLS.”

    “The Late Late Show with James Corden” premieres on March 9th

    The changing of the guards will soon be taking place. With Craig Ferguson stepping down as host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, much buzz was generated about who would take his place. British actor and writer James Corden was named Ferguson’s successor in August. According to THR, Corden’s reign will debut Monday, March 9th.

    The Late Late Show with James Corden will be taped at the CBS Television City lot in Los Angeles, and has named Ben Winston as showrunner. Read More