Day: May 13, 2011

Before the upfronts: Up front with Whitney Cummings + Chris D’Elia about their new NBC sitcom, “Whitney”

By far the belle of the ball among the early network TV pickups for Fall 2011 is comedian Whitney Cummings, who went two-for-two on the pilots that she had a hand in writing and producing. NBC has ordered Whitney to series, which Cummings wrote the pilot for based on her stand-up act and starred alongside fellow stand-up comedian Chris D'Elia (most recently seen in Glory Daze on TBS). Then this afternoon, CBS ordered Two Broke Girls to series, which Cummings co-created and co-executive produced with Michael Patrick King. But Cummings is just behind the camera on that series, leaving Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs to play the broke girls working at a Brooklyn diner. I got Cummings and D'Elia on the line to talk about Whitney, the new NBC series they'll be introducing to advertisers and the media on Monday. From Whitney herself: "It's amazing! What can I say?????? It's obviously phenomenal. So excited to have gotten Chris for it. I wrote for him in mind and to be working with him every day is going to be a blast. I had Loni Love in the pilot as well. So the key for me is just surrounding myself with amazing comedians and staying honest and trusting my instincts because it seems to be working.  NBC was so amazing about letting me do what I wanted to do — the...

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Comedy Central acknowledges milestones in online, mobile platforms for South Park, Tosh.0

Amid all of the TV news making waves this week, Comedy Central put out a press release acknowledging the grand future of TV — which, of course, is on our computers and our telephones. What the release actually announced was Comedy Central's biggest traffic week ever online, with close to 26 million videos streamed digitally online for the week of May 2, 2011. Thank Osama bin Laden, or rather, his death, for that? That's what the network said drove viewers to clips about it from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Two other figures jumped out from the release: The South Park episode, "Funnybot," was Comedy Central Digital's most-watched content, with upward of 1 million starts and more than 2.5 million overall streams. I wonder how that compares with online audiences for the broadcast networks. And Daniel Tosh's series, Tosh.0, became the first Comedy Central app to hit the 1 million download mark via iPhone and iPad. That's building and maintaining a loyal audience for the series, which returns with new episodes next...

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ABC’s pickups + renewal of Happy Endings = even more work this fall for stand-ups and UCB players!

Hot off the heels of seeing NBC order six new sitcoms that employ a dozen comedians from the worlds of stand-up comedy and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatres, ABC is also looking to stand-up and the UCB for its own sitcom resurgance. To wit: Happy Endings, just introduced this spring as a midseason replacement in the 10 p.m. Wednesday timeslot and often doubling up episodes in that hour, earned itself a second season, which means more work for stand-up Damon Wayans Jr. and UCB alums Casey Wilson, Adam Pally and Eliza Coupe. Last Man Standing brings stand-up Tim Allen back to ABC. Apt. 23 might be making headlines initially for casting Krysten Ritter and James Van Der Beek, but it also includes roles for stand-up Eric Andre and UCBer Michael "Mookie" Blaiklock.  ABC also is bringing back the Bosom Buddies concept, this time cross-dressed-up as Work It, starring Amury Nolasco and Ben Koldyke, and featuring a cast that includes stand-up John Caparulo, Kate Reinders (from TASTiSKANK) and Kirstin Eggers (from Summer of Tears). UPDATED with more new series… Man Up stars Mather Zickel and Teri Polo, with co-stars played Christopher Moynihan (who's the writer/producer of this series), Dan Fogler and Henry Simmons. Suburgatory stars Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy, with parts for Alan Tudyk, Ana Gasteyer, Cheryl Hines, Carly Chaikin and Allie Grant. Written and produced by Emily...

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In other news…

OK, readers. Before we get to the Friday the 13th promise that I made to myself and to the Internet, let's take a look around and see what else is going on in comedy this week that's not just about who's on TV and who's going to be on TV. Marc Maron visited Jonathan Winters and recorded it for our pleasure. Do it. WTF. Playboy magazine asked Louis CK 20 questions. The hottest ticket on Broadway is the musical, "The Book of Mormon." If you cannot see it, then at least you can hear it, as NPR has the full soundtrack recording to listen to. The final stage production of The Chris Gethard Show happens this Saturday at the UCB Theatre in NYC before moving to public access TV, and the Wall Street Journal wrote about Gethard this week. Are lobsters funny? Well, are they? That's the question everybody has been debating for years now, and Jill Morris gets to the bottom of it for the Huffington Post. Finally. What compliments does a comedian receive after bombing for 45 minutes straight? Doogie Horner wrote them down for McSweeney's. Jimmy Pardo gets himself a profile in today's Los Angeles Times. And CNN talked to Jim...

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Tim Minchin performs “If I Didn’t Have You” on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Tim Minchin's current two-hour show is great. Fantastic. Wonderful. Magical. As I've said and written before, he's much more than a musical comedian. I saw him last week in New York City, and there's something really deep to what he manages to weave into his comedy and music. If you're in Chicago or Montreal, where Minchin will be performing at this summer's Just For Laughs festivals, you must check him out. Anyhow. Just wanted to give him some context, since last night on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, it's just straight to Minchin without much context or introduction. So here he is with a song written for his wife and lifelong love. It's called "If I Didn't Have You." Roll it....

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