Fred Armisen to spend his summer hiatus from SNL in “Portlandia,” a new IFC digital comedy series

IFC has ordered a six-episode debut of a comedy series called Portlandia, starring SNL's Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein. Production begins this month in Portland, Ore., with Lorne Michaels executive producing. It's expected to wrap in mid-September, just in time for Armisen to return to work on SNL before its season debut Sept. 25.

Armisen and Brownstein have been making comedy together for a few years as Thunderant. Here's one of their shorts as feminist bookstore owners with special guest St. Vincent:

The first episode also features the mayor of Portland (played by Kyle MacLachlan), as well as the real Mayor Sam Adams playing his assistant. Aubrey Plaza also is among the guest stars. Armisen and Brownstein will write music and dialogue for the series, along with Allison Silverman and Jonathan Krisel. Krisel, who has directed Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as well as the past season's digital shorts on SNL, will also direct Portlandia. All of which is to say, expect a distinctly weird aesthetic to the whole project, which will showcase Armisen, Brownstein and friends as various oddball characters in Portland. Think more digital shorts than sketches. The show will air in 2011.

“I’m so excited about working on this,” Armisen said. “It’s a passion project I have been working on with Carrie Brownstein for a while, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my off seasons from SNL. Working with Lorne has been especially nice.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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