Showtime announced today during the TV Critics Association summer press tour that Inside Comedy had earned a 10-episode second season, which will premiere in January 2013.
Among the comedians interviewed by David Steinberg this time around: Ben Stiller, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, Carol Burnett, Jim Carrey, Albert Brooks and the late Robert Schimmel.
If some of those names sound or read as familiar, it’s because they were listed when Showtime originally ordered the first season of Inside Comedy. Foreshadowing?
And where, oh where, does this leave the comedian-on-comedian talk show that preceded Inside Comedy? Namely, The Green Room with Paul Provenza. Provenza’s show featured a much more free-flowing discussion among several top-draw stand-ups in front of live audiences. Steinberg’s series, by contrast, features dry one-on-one chats with veteran comedians who often have some connection to him. Think WTF with Marc Maron, but without all of the emotional wallop and happy fun times. The writing seems to be on the wall — since it’s not on Showtime’s front page directory online — that we’ve seen the last of Provenza’s series on Showtime, even if nobody has said it publicly. Which would be a shame, since his series was the far superior product, both in terms of comedy ha-ha and comedy know-how.
UPDATE (7/31/12): Paul Provenza told his followers on Twitter the following, “Well, we’re done at Showtime, folks. Looking for a new home now. Not stopping, dammit.”
Slightly related: Showtime also announced a Richard Pryor documentary is in the works for the pay cable channel network. And Larry Wilmore’s stand-up special will air Aug. 25, 2012.