Day: May 7, 2010

TV Land’s first sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland,” will air promo while Betty White hosts SNL, obviously

TV Land picked a fine time to get into the original sitcom business, with Hot in Cleveland co-starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. The series debuts June 16, and its first promo clip will air Saturday night during SNL as, guess who — Betty White — hosts. You asked for it. You got...

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What Comedy Central’s 2010/2011 development slate really means

As cable and broadcast networks begin unveiling their upcoming new series, potential pilots and scripts in development for the fall 2010/spring 2011 season, it's good to sometimes take a step back to get a look at the bigger picture before getting too excited about any one development deal that may never see any TV airtime. Remember, for instance, when Speed Freaks looked like an exciting madcap Comedy Central series about two guys on the run from a meth dealer? Well, instead we got an exciting drama about meth on another cable network (AMC's Breaking Bad), while A.D. Miles became the head writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and has helped give Fallon's chat show its own stamp on late-night TV, and Zach Galifianakis has become an in-demand movie star. So everything worked out OK two years ago. Going into the coming year, what do I see when I look at Comedy Central's development slate? First off, I see that when Kent Alterman says "the focus through our development process is to find performers, writers, directors and producers that project a strong, unique comedic voice, and then help them actualize their vision in the most unfiltered manner possible," what that means in reality is that Comedy Central very much likes to sign up and/or acquire raw stand-up product from talent in double doses, not only getting a CD and/or...

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Tracked down at Bridgetown: Dave Tribble reflects on 25 years of booking the “TribbleRun”

For any professional comedian who works west of the Rocky Mountains, the word "Tribble" is not a Star Trek reference but rather, a way of life. Or of making a living. The hard way. Yes, my friends, I speak of the "TribbleRun," which for a quarter-century now, has been sending stand-up comedians on the road for a series of one-nighters throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, extending even into Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. Stand-ups drive for entire days just to get from one gig to the next, all to make a buck. It's a very real thing that exists, continues to exist — here's the official TribbleRun site online — and is run by a real-life man named Dave Tribble. I finally met Dave Tribble and his wife, Laura (who makes a cameo at the very end of the video), between showcases at the Mt. Tabor Theater for the 2010 Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Ore. So if you've ever wanted to hear about the TribbleRun from the man himself, sit back and watch....

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Please say it’s so! NBC reserves Twitter feeds for sitcom pilots “Beach Lane” and “The Strip”

The folks at The TV Addict did a little Internet sleuthing and found that NBC apparently signed up for Twitter feeds for some, but not all, of its pilots that are hoping for slots on the network's 2010 fall and midseason schedule. NBC's official "upfront" is not until May 17. But they did order three of their pilots earlier today. And if their precedent holds to form — see @nbccommunity or @nbc30rock — then this is very promising news for both Beach Lane @NBCBeachLane (starring Matthew Broderick, Nick Thune and Kristen Johnston) and The Strip @NBCTheStrip (starring Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Natasha Leggero, Cedric Yarbrough and Dave Holmes). Both of these sitcoms are well-liked by those in the know and comedy fans, and both fit the Peacock Network's existing comedy brand of funny people in workplace situations — Beach Lane taking place at a small newspaper in the Hamptons; The Strip, in a strip-mall restaurant. And Outsourced, which NBC picked up to series earlier today, also has a workplace setting (though does not fit TV Addict's Twitter theory!?). Of course, if it turns out to be merely a Twitter-squatter, then I won't be the only person really upset about...

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Flashback: “Stages (The Montana Run)” features Northwest comedy, Jeff Probst’s screen debut?

Going back to the Pacific Northwest recently for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland made me very nostalgic for my years living in the Seattle area (and even my two years in Idaho!). Ron Reid was all over the place at Bridgetown, and his Comedy Underground in Seattle was my very first home club as an improviser (my group performed there on Wednesdays in the mid-1990s) and stand-up. Before I get into a full recap of Bridgetown 2010, indulge me as I take you back to the Pacific Northwest comedy scene of the 1990s, courtesy of a 1992 film starring Randy Thompson, and co-starring Reid, Dan Lishner and Mayme Paul Thompson, with cameos from comedians such as Rodney Sherwood, Kermet Apio, Darryl Lenox, Carl Banks, an appearance by Laura Crocker, and perhaps the very first onscreen role for Survivor host Jeff Probst! Here's Probst's big scene, in which he hits on the female stand-up after a one-nighter: The Montana Run – Jeff Probst And here's the original trailer: You can get the DVD at Film Baby. It reminded me of "The Tribble Runs" that my friends in comedy would go on in the late 90s and early 00s, but Reid told me that this movie isn't based on Tribble but some of the bookers who preceded him. He explained to me: "My character is roughly based on a guy named...

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