FOX orders late-night Saturday sketch series, Party Over Here, starring Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich, EPs The Lonely Island and Paul Scheer

FOX is bringing sketch comedy back to late-night Saturdays, and it’s enlisting former Saturday Night Live digital stars The Lonely Island to do so???

Hold on. Not so fast. Yes, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone of The Lonely Island are executive producing Party Over Here with Paul Scheer — but it’ll air at 11 p.m. ET/PT for a half-hour, ending just in time to avoid a scheduling battle with SNL and Lorne Michaels, who gave The Lonely Island their big break.

“And we called Lorne first to get his blessing,” the fellas wrote on Twitter today.

And it’ll star a trio of funny ladies: Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich.

They’ve actually already started production, with tapings in front of live audiences this week in downtown Los Angeles at the Hotel Alexandria. The description?

“Party Over Here is a high energy, youthful, fast paced late night event. See rising comedy stars perform sketches, characters, and songs, covering everything from pop culture to current trends to the general absurdity of life. Come join the Party!”

Party Over Here premieres Saturday, March 12, 2016, on FOX.

Quotes from the announcement!

“When we first conceived this idea, we thought of it as a spinoff of Empire,” deadpanned The Lonely Island. “We failed miserably…now it’s much more of a sketch comedy show.” Party Over Here comes out of The Lonely Island’s development deal with FOX.

Scheer, who’ll direct, said: “In an age where most millennials don’t even know what a TV is, we are really excited to be getting into the TV business.”

“The late-night landscape is wildly competitive, and we thought long and hard about the kind of audacious, attention-getting voices we needed,” said David Madden, Fox’s President, Entertainment. “Andy, Akiva, Jorma, Paul and our three stars – Nicole, Jessica and Alison – are the ideal group of talent to do just that. They’re fearless, original and, of course, very, very funny.”

Official cast descriptions:

Nicole Byer is one of the breakout stars of the cable hit comedy series “Girl Code.” Byer’s additional acting credits include “Lady Dynamite” and “30 Rock.” Byer and Sasheer Zamata (“Saturday Night Live”) wrote and star in the web series “Pursuit of Sexiness.”

Jessica McKenna has studied sketch and improv at The Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), where she is a regular performer. Her television credits include the FOX improv comedy series “Riot,” “The Goldbergs,” “Comedy Bang! Bang!,” “Hotwives of Las Vegas” and “The Jeselnik Offensive.” McKenna is one-half of the musical comedy duo The Zach and The Jess.

Alison Rich was a staff writer on “Saturday Night Live,” where she was hired after testing for a featured player position. Rich won the IFC “Out of the Box” Award (which came with a blind script offer) and Best Actress Award from the New York Television Festival for the web series “Incognito,” which she created with Andrew Law. Her additional acting credits include the comedy series “Angie Tribeca,” “Life In Pieces” and the HULU original series “Resident Advisors.”

Byer’s so funny she already also has a single-cam series ordered from December to MTV!

In addition to an all-female cast, the show’s writing staff includes more women than Heather Anne Campbell, Lauren McGuire, Ryan Perez, Yamara Taylor and Nick Wiger.

FOX’s late Saturday nights have included a mixture of animated shorts (FOX ADHD), talk shows (The Spike Feresten Show), reruns and stand-up showcases (Laughs) since MADtv went off the air in 2009.

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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