New cable channel Pivot enjoyed Freestyle Love Supreme‘s improvised hip-hop comedy special in March so much, it announced today it has ordered up 10 additional half-hour specials from the NYC-based musical comedy crew.
The series upgrade came as part of Pivot’s full slate of new shows, renewals and development projects announced to advertisers and the public. Pivot launched Aug. 1, 2013, and targets the “Millennial” viewer aged 18-34.
Pivot President Evan Shapiro said: “Pivot’s first slate established us as a programming brand of distinction, with uniquely original, high-quality series, specials and films. Our second slate demonstrates our significant investment in, and commitment to, groundbreaking content for the thought-leading segment of Generation Y we call ‘Upstanders.’ We believe that a story well told can change the world. Pivot’s programming is meant to spark conversation among the very people most likely to create that change.”
The Freestyle Love Supreme series of specials comes just a month after the group performed its first special for the network. You can watch it now online if you missed it in March:
Adapted/created for TV by founding members Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, with fellow executive producers Jon Steingart and Jill Furman, and produced by Ars Nova. Ten new half-hours will come in the upcoming year from Freestyle Love Supreme, which in addition to Kail and Veneziale stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan, Christopher Jackson, Bill Sherman and Arthur Lewis. They take suggestions from the audience and weave hip-hop beats and rhymes into a fully-formed improvised comedy show.
Pivot also announced two new documentary series, one of which is a comedy.
Human Resources, premiering Aug. 8, 2014 (10 half-hours), is a comedy about a 32-year-old Princeton University dropout and his multimillion-dollar company, TerraCycle, which will recycle just about anything. Producers: Left/Right (“Mob Wives,” “Small Town Security”), Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver and Anneka Jones.
Please Like Me earned a second-season, with 10 half-hour episodes leading into Human Resources. It’s inspired by Australian comedian Josh Thomas. The series also stars Thomas Ward, Debra Lawrance, David Roberts, Caitlin Stasey, Wade Briggs, Nikita Leigh-Pritchard, Renee Lim, Denise Drysdale, Keegan Joyce, Charlotte Nicdao, Charles Cottier, and Hannah Gadsby.
TakePart Live returns May 12 with live hour-long episodes at 10 p.m. Mondays.
Here is the development slate in the mix for Pivot in the year to come, with descriptions straight from the network:
Producer: Eyeworks / Media RED; Executive Producers: Tom Leach, Todd Nelson, JD Roth, Brant Pinvidic
Each week, comedy teams will face off in a series of ever-changing rounds – from pre-taped video sketches to in-studio improv – in a fast-paced battle for comedy supremacy.
Producer: Electus; Animation: Bento Box; Executive Producer: Ben Silverman (EP, “The Office,” “The Tudors,” “Ugly Betty”) Writer/Executive Producer: Jeff Westbrook (EP, “The Simpsons”)
An animated comedy, “Leader Town” follows an American family that tries to fit in in Barkhiva, Russia – the town where the world’s deposed ex-leaders are allowed to live out their lives in luxury using their ill-gotten gains until the money runs out. Each episode will highlight a different issue, and our characters, being who they are, will take it to the extreme. Issues: Social Commentary, Government Transparency
Studio: Universal Cable Productions; Executive Producers: Michael Goldstein, Michael Larkin; Writers/Co-Executive Producers: Jay Baxter and Shaun Zaken
Inspired by the book by Doree Lewak, this comedy series follows four friends prone to panic and bad decisions when they find themselves on the wrong side of 25. Doree is the founder and owner of a socially responsible foods company, where she often employs her friends when they need time to figure out their next move. Doree’s fianc� dies unexpectedly days before their wedding, but she vows to pick up the pieces of her life, regroup, and carry on. Issues: Social Entrepreneurship, Unemployment, Student Debt
“Pivot Creative Collective”
In Association with Windsor McKenna, Inc.: Craig Greiwe
In the “Pivot Creative Collective,” creative, bright emerging talent step behind and in front of the camera to produce short-form content matching Pivot’s reputation for high-end, original, and innovative programming. Content will be compelling, socially relevant, and focused on the Millennial generation and the issues they face. It’s the chance for emerging creators to take that next step from acting into filmmaking; from developing web series to TV series, from working on indie projects to creating compelling original content for television.
Studio: FremantleMedia North America; Producer: Pukeko Pictures; Writers/Executive Producers: Jonathan Penner & Stacy Title; Executive Producers: Adam Fratto, Martin Baynton
“Prison Earth” is a serialized drama set in a Gitmo-like detention facility created to contain Earth’s first guests from outer space. A science fiction series with a strong female lead, this story dives into the volatile mix of scientists, soldiers, and aliens that are locked together on this remote base, and the conflicts and choices they face with the fates of two species at stake. Themes of racism, xenophobia and prisoner’s rights are presented through the lens of species-ism, forcing us to reexamine what actions are inhumane or intolerable in this context of forced confinement with design and effects by Weta Workshop in New Zealand. Issues: Racial Equality, Immigration, Unlawful Detention
Producer: Alan Gasmer (EP, “The Vikings”), Tony Optican, Peter Jaysen; Writer/Executive Producer: Sandy Isaac (“Drop Dead Diva,” “Franklin & Bash”)
“Thirst” is a family drama surrounding the discovery of fresh water in a dying New Mexico town, and how the battle to control the water rights and reap the vast fortune the water will bring turns deadly. Issues: Water Rights
“America’s Got Issues”
Producers: Serious Business (Jason Nadler, Alex Blagg, Jon Zimelis), Funny Or Die
(:30 Clip-based Comedy)
“America’s Got Issues” features comedians, experts, and notable personalities riffing on the evolution of social and cultural issues through American history as reflected in pop culture. Topics might include water, food, capital punishment, immigration and population. Issues: Food, Capital Punishment, Immigration
Producers: Stick Figure Studios
“American Rewind” follows the employees of the world’s largest living exhibition, Colonial Williamsburg, whose day-jobs consist of recreating hotbed Revolutionary-era issues of politics, race and gender. The role-playing by day has startling ramifications on their 21st century identities and personal lives. Issues: Race, American History, Employment
“I Am Young Detroit”
Producers: Trium Entertainment
“I Am Young Detroit” is a social venture that promotes entrepreneurship as a means to combat youth unemployment and boost economic impact in Detroit. Their mission is to help revitalize Detroit by empowering young entrepreneurs to launch businesses and support them by providing resources, mentorship, and funding. Part docu-series, part process show, each episode will follow the staff of “I Am Young Detroit” as they work to help a budding millennial business each week. Issues: Employment, Economics
“My Favorite Things”
This half-hour series celebrates the things we love by looking at the life they have before – and after – we own them. Each episode explores two of our most nationally coveted items, including blue jeans, smart phones, and fast food. Told through first hand exploration, animation and with liberal use of humor, the series will explore each product’s history, means of production, environmental impact, and life after disposal. Issues: Consumerism, Environment
“Untitled Andrew Jenks Project”
Producer: Andrew Jenks?
Pivot is developing a docu-series targeting the millennial audience produced by and starring filmmaker Andrew Jenks (“Room 335,” “The Zen of Bobby V,” “World of Jenks”).