TBS orders up Wyatt Cenac’s “People of Earth” sitcom, sets dates for even more 2016 rebranding

TBS stepped up to the plate at the winter meetings of the TV Critics Association (TCA) with a brand-new look and feel, and plenty of new series to back that up.

Newest among them? A 10-episode order for People of Earth, which stars Wyatt Cenac as a journalist who investigates a support group for alien abductees.

The support group includes Ana Gasteyer, Oscar Nuñez, Michael Cassidy, Alice Wetterlund, Luka Jones, Brian Huskey, Nancy Lenehan, Tracee Chimo, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Björn Gustafsson and Ken Hall. People of Earth is created by David Jenkins and comes produced by Conaco’s Conan O’Brien, Greg Daniels and Jeff Ross, with David Kissinger and Larry Sullivan.

“Having Greg Daniels executive-produce and direct a project for us at such an early stage in the network’s evolution is huge. His keen ability to assemble a brilliant ensemble cast has obviously worked well in the past,” said Brett Weitz, executive vice president of original programming for TBS. “Since the launch of CONAN, which has been a brand beacon for TBS for more than five years, we’ve been searching for just the right sophisticated and funny scripted comedy series to develop with our partners at Conaco. I believe we found that in this wonderfully original script by David Jenkins.”

Kevin Reilly, who heads up TBS and TNT and last visited the TCAs as head of FOX’s entertainment programming, said he’s looking for a “complete reinvention” of TBS and not a rebranding. Most of the previous sitcoms have been scrapped completely already. Reilly also talked about how the new-look TBS will be a bit more familiar to fans of Turner’s late-night programming on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Younger. Smarter. Funnier?

To wit:

TBS is kicking off new madcap slapstick sitcom Angie Tribeca (a Police Squad! for a new generation! starring Rashida Jones!) with Binge-A-Thon: 25 Hours of Commercial-Free Angie Tribeca Episodes Plus Comedy with the Cast and Friends in Studio LIVE! starting 9 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Jan. 17. The first 10 episodes will air back-to-back. Angie Tribeca will then move to its regular timeslot, Mondays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning Jan. 25.

TBS also has set start dates for its road-trip comedy and talk show fronted by dynamic husband-and-wife duo of Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Feb. 8) TBS description: “One of the most unique and visible comedic voices on television is coming to TBS in Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Breaking up late-night’s all-male sausage fest, this new show from the longtime Daily Show correspondent will feature Samantha’s nuanced view of political and cultural issues, her sharp interview skills, her repartee with world leaders and much more.”
  • The Detour (April 11) TBS description: “The Detour is a what-in-the-living-hell-is-wrong-with-this-family comedy created by comic super-couple Jason Jones & Samantha Bee and inspired by their own experiences with family trips. Jones stars as unfiltered dad Nate, who hits the road with wife Robin (Natalie Zea) and kids Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich) and Jared (Liam Carroll). Every leg of their trip is fraught with disaster as they encounter one hellish turn after another. If there’s trouble on the road, this family will find it and plow into it.”

Other shows slated for the first half of 2016 include the distinctive new comedies Search Party and Wrecked, as well as the relationship-based game show Separation Anxiety and the competition series America’s Greatest Makers (working title).

And here’s the clip package. Roll it!

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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