It’s a huge day for Comedy Central, as the network reveals a development slate for the 2017-18 season that includes nine new pilot orders and three full season pick-ups.
The shows picked up to series are The New Negroes, based on Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle’s acclaimed live show of the same name; Corporate, Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman’s dark workplace comedy; and Taskmaster, an adaptation of the hit UK game show of the same name, hosted by Late Late Show bandleader Reggie Watts.
Pilots include a project from Broad City’s Arturo Castro, a stand-up showcase hosted by Jak Knight, SNL co-head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly’s new show, a mockmentary from Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan, and a series from YouTube star Franchesca Ramsay.
Network president Kent Alterman gave a simple statement to accompany the announcement: “We are opening our aperture, so we are appealing to more than just a young, white male audience.”
Here’s full intel on Comedy Central’s latest acquisitions:
- Corporate – From Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson, and Jake Weisman comes a dark, edgy look at life as a Junior-Executive-in-Training at your average, soulless multi-national corporation. Matt and Jake (Ingebretson and Weisman) are at the mercy of a tyrannical CEO Christian DeVille (Lance Reddick) and his top lieutenants, sycophants John and Kate (Adam Lustick and Anne Dudek). As Matt and Jake navigate an ever-revolving series of disasters their only ally is Hampton Deville Human Resources rep Grace (Aparna Nancherla). Executive produced by Ingebretson, Weisman, Bishop, who will also direct and Jake Fogelnest.
- Taskmaster – Produced by Avalon Television, Taskmaster is based on the BAFTA and Royal Television Society award-nominated, internationally popular UK format. Reggie Watts will star as the Taskmaster who, with series creator Alex Horne as his loyal assistant, will judge five unwitting comedians as they compete against each other with creativity, cunning and genius in a series of stupefying tasks. Executive produced by Watts, Horne, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, David Martin, James Taylor, Jon Thoday, Kara Baker and Andy Devonshire, who will also direct.
- The New Negroes – Described by The New York Times as a show that “wants to do more than simply provoke laughter…Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle want to challenge ideas about what constitutes black entertainment and expand the discussion about black life in America,” The New Negroes is a socially aware stand-up and musical series showcasing a collection of new and established comedians. Created, executive produced and co-hosted by Baron Vaughn, executive produced and co-hosted by Open Mike Eagle and executive produced by Betsy Koch, Funny Or Die, and Lance Bangs, who will direct.
(all titles listed are working titles)
- Alternatino – based on the Comedy Central digital series, a half-hour sketch show hosted and performed by Arturo Castro (“Broad City”) as he attempts to navigate life as a modern Latino millennial – whatever that means. Executive Produced by Castro and Avalon’s David Martin, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and Sam Saifer.
- Delco Proper – based on the Comedy Central digital series, centers around a group of buddies from Delaware County, PA, who’ve worked together in the same lumberyard for years. In that time, they’ve learned one thing for sure: It’s hard to change in a town that doesn’t. Written by John McKeever and Tommy Pope, with McKeever set to direct. Executive Produced by McKeever, Pope, Eric Abrams, and Sam Saifer of Avalon.
- Home for the Weekend – created, executive produced and hosted by comedian Neal Brennan, this mockumentary-style half-hour follows Neal and a celebrity guest as they take a weekend trip back to the guest’s hometown. In each episode, things veer off the rails and pleasant strolls down memory lane take unexpected turns which reveal surprising backstories and hidden details about high-profile stars. Executive produced by Brennan, Party Over Here’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, along with Lindsay Hannon.
- Power Couple – created, written and executive produced by Noël Wells (who is attached to star) and Flint Wainess, Power Couple is the story of Flint and Noel, a neurotic 20-something couple in Austin, Texas navigating the existential horrors of the Internet age while constantly clashing with friends, neighbors, and the absurdity of the world around them.
- Untitled Awkwafina Project – written by Nora Lum and Teresa Hsiao, executive produced by Itay Reiss of Principato-Young Entertainment and Lum and co-executive produced by Hsiao, this half-hour scripted narrative focuses on a heightened version of Nora Lum, better known as rapper Awkwafina, as she navigates the underground hip hop community in Queens.
- Untitled Chris Kelly And Sarah Schneider Project – written by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, features two struggling siblings who are forced to reevaluate their lives when their much younger 12-year-old brother becomes instantly famous without trying. Chris Kelly (Other People) is set to direct. Executive produced by Kelly, Schneider, Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer of Broadway Video.
- Untitled Franchesca Ramsey Project – led by Franchesca Ramsey, the most diverse set of comedians on TV will heal America through brutal comedy, surprising guests, and breakdowns of the most pressing cultural issues you never knew you cared about. Who knew the awful truth was so hilarious? Executive produced by Ramsey, Eric Brown and Andrew Kornhaber and Kara Welker of Generate.
- Untitled Jak Knight Stand-Up Project – Jak Knight hosts an underground stand-up show featuring three comedians from different genres and a unique performance from an emerging musical artist. Produced by Den of Thieves, executive produced by Knight, Molly Mandel, Lisa Mierke, Jared Morell, Jordan Barrow, Evan Prager, and Jesse Ignjatovic and directed by Chris Storer.
- Untitled South Side Project – Written by Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Sultan Salahuddin, this workplace comedy is set in and around a rent-to-own business on the South Side of Chicago (where the Salahuddins grew up). All three writers will have roles on the show. The show will be executive produced by Bashir Salahuddin and Riddle as well as executive produced and directed by Michael Blieden.