TruTV is embracing its comedic sensibilities.
The cable channel, which already poked fun at life and videos with Impractical Jokers and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, and earlier this spring announced a new sketch comedy series and a showcase for a comic magician, unveiled even more comedy to come in 2014 with the announcement of its full development slate Monday as part of truTV’s annual Upfront presentation to advertisers.
The Impractical Jokers guys — Q, Sal, Joe and Murr — not only received a fourth-season renewal order of 26 episodes of practical jokes and public dares, but also earned a spin-off series, Jokers Wild!, featuring six episodes of sketches and guests. TruTV boasted that Impractical Jokers finished this year’s first-quarter as basic cable’s most popular TV program at 9:30 p.m. Thursdays for adults aged 18-34.
truTV has liked what it saw in the April 1 sneak peek of the upcoming series, The Carbonaro Effect, and ordered 13 additional episodes. The Carbonaro Effect stars comic magician Michael Carbonaro and premieres May 15, 2014.
It’s all part of truTV’s bid to appeal to “funseekers,” which is a marketing term for people who like to turn on the TV and see happy things.
If you don’t believe me, then read these quotes from the official announcement:
“We’re extremely excited to be rolling out a robust slate of programming, including big swings in new areas including reality/scripted hybrid shows, sketch comedy, docusoaps and competition elimination as we continue to shape and evolve the truTV brand,” said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. “Working with outstanding producers like 3 Arts Entertainment, Mission Control Media, Bunim/Murray Productions and Shine America, we are moving forward to give our targeted audience of ‘funseekers’ the type of programming they crave: a dynamic mix of action, comedy and competition series featuring engaging characters and compelling new worlds. These are the kind of shows that pull you in, take you on a fun ride and leave you wanting more.”
“At truTV, we are moving full speed ahead to build a lineup packed with new and different shows that are worthy of investment,” Linn said. “A perfect example is The Carbonaro Effect, a series we are so excited about, we’ve already ordered additional episodes. We want producers to know that truTV is a place where they can come and play, an environment where they can develop their most innovative ideas into really great television.”
Other new series coming to truTV in 2014 include:
Way Out West — a “docu-soap” following three families in the Idaho backcountry who compete in the outfitting business. 12 episodes plus the one-hour pilot, debuting in July 2014.
Local News (working title) — a “docu-soap” following a group of local TV newspeople competing for the top anchor job at a small-market station. 8 episodes, debuting in Fall 2014.
Fake-Off — a game show competition in which performers recreate and reimagine iconic moments in pop culture. 8 episodes, debuting in Fall 2014.
Hair Jacked — a game show in which contestants answer questions while getting their hair did. They might get eliminated before the haircut is done, though. 16 half-hour episodes, debuting in Fall 2014.
How to Be a Grown Up — advice show from comedians. 16 half-hour episodes, debuting in Summer 2014.