This spring, Matt Oberg acted as the head writer on “The Billy and Josh Show” the comedy show within a comedy show, FX’s The Comedians. This summer, Oberg will go even deeper into meta character, serving as the host of a very real yet ridiculous reality TV competition that reminds everyone just how silly the job of morning TV meteorologist really is. The competition is even called Funny or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman, and it’ll air this summer on TBS.
Despite the title, both men and women will be competing. And also despite the title but as I mentioned above, it is very real — the winner not only will earn $100,000, but also a gig delivering forecasts on CNN’s morning show, New Day. Turner owns both TBS and CNN.
Funny or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman will debut on TBS at 11 p.m. Aug. 8, 2015, airing late-night Saturdays for eight weeks (which means its finale may bump up against the premiere of Saturday Night Live over on NBC).
Veteran reality TV competition producer Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) produces for Funny or Die and United Artists Media Group (UAMG), while Los Angeles “weather personalities” (in quotes because that’s how the press release described them!) Johnny Mountain (KABC, KCBS) and Jillian Barberie (Good Day LA).
“Funny Or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman takes everything we know – or think we know – about weathercasters and then uses it to put 12 competitors through the wringer for a chance at the big time,” said David Eilenberg, senior vice president of unscripted development, late night and specials for TBS and TNT. “The results are really something. This series is a fresh and extremely funny addition to TBS’s late-night lineup. We’re especially excited that it extends our relationships with both Funny Or Die and Mark Burnett.”
Comedian/actor Seth Morris will produce, while Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell serve as executive producers, along with Burnett and Dean Houser. They’ve put their own spin on all of the classic elements of “reality TV” challenges.
“It’s been such a good time working with Funny Or Die,” said Burnett. “This will be the first time I’ve poked a little fun – actually a lot of fun – at what I am best known for. It’s a real wink to our audience as we look for the next great meteorologist. The funniest part is that it turns out that these are actually terrific weathercasters.”
“Reading between the lines of what Mark just said, it’s clear that this is the most important show he’s ever made,” said Farah. “We can’t wait to make Saturday nights at 11 p.m. in August appointment viewing for fans of comedy and competition alike.”
UAMG has retained all international rights, which will be distributed by MGM.
Here, by the way, are the 12 competitors who passed those auditions.
- Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams (32), of Buffalo, N.Y., a radio personality with 10 years of on-air experience and a degree in telecommunications and digital media arts.
- Frank Margini (32) of Old Tappan, N.J., a fitness trainer and former member of Air Force with a degree in criminal justice and only 5% body fat.
- Jeff Forgeron (25) of San Diego, Calif., an Associated Press writer for Weather Underground who has a degree in meteorology.
- Miller Robson (42) of Columbus, Ga., a former wrestler and local meteorologist/anchor who is working toward a degree in meteorology.
- Jenn Barlow (28) of San Diego, Calif., a “sneaky smart blonde” with seven years experience as a television reporter and host.
- Mackenzie Bart (23), of Columbus, Ohio, Miss Ohio 2014 who is currently working on her degree in atmospheric science.
- Ron Hilliard (28), of Detroit, Mich., a news intern and SKYWARN-trained weather spotter with a degree in the interdisciplinary humanities of communications, theater and Spanish.
- Michelle Rotella (27) of Germantown, Md., a meteorologist who graduated from high school at 16 before earning a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.
- Aubrey Evans (25), of Las Vegas, Nev., a model and skilled ice skater with an abundance of life experience to bring to the competition.
- Christina Faraone (26) of Walden, N.Y., a Marine meteorologist technician whose master’s thesis was on the role of weather in aviation.
- David Collins (34) from Deland, Fla., a Navy veteran who graduated at the top of his meteorology class and spent four years as an operational weather briefer.
- Drew Logan (26) of Westlake Village, Calif., a pastor and former college football player who recently completed his master’s degree.