IFC has picked up a third season of breakout Portlandia, the cable network announced at its first ever upfront presentation today in New York on the heels of becoming an ad-supported network earlier this year. IFC also unveiled a programming slate that includes several new comedies. Among newcomers are the animated coming-of-age series Out There; the unscripted comedy/talk show Comedy Bang Bang, based on comedian Scott Aukerman’s podcasts; the comedy game show Bunk; and the tentatively titled Maron, inspired by the life of edgy comedian Marc Maron. In addition to Portlandia, other returning shows on the IFC slate include Whisker Wars, from Original Productions and a new installment of rapper R. Kelly’s “hip hopera” Trapped In The Closet (the original aired in 2007). Here is the release:
NEW YORK, NY – Today, at the network’s first-ever Upfront event, IFC unveiled its 2012/2013 original programming line-up which includes the return for a third season of its breakout hit series, PORTLANDIA and a second season of WHISKER WARS. IFC also announced the addition of two new scripted comedies: the animated series OUT THERE, and MARON (working title), featuring comedian and podcast phenom Marc Maron; and a new installment of R. Kelly’s hip hopera, TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET. IFC also announced it will premiere its summer originals COMEDY BANG BANG and BUNK back-to-back on Friday, June 8, offering viewers a full hour of “slightly off” original comedies.
IFC’s Executive Vice President & General Manager, Jennifer Caserta, commented: “This past year, our first as an ad-supported network, has been an amazing one for IFC. Original series including Portlandia connected with audiences and have helped to further establish the network as the premier destination for fresh, original programming that celebrates what’s off-kilter in the world of comedy. We’ve also received a great response from advertisers who recognize the value of our hard-to-reach audience. IFC added 50 new clients, broke into the QSR, fast casual dining, snack food and beverage categories for the first time, and we continue to work with our partners to integrate their brands in unique ways that drive value and keep viewers engaged.”
Following is IFC’s 2012/2013 original programming line-up:
COMEDY BANG BANG (10×30)
Premieres Friday, June 8
Based on Scott Aukerman’s (co-creator/director/producer, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis; writer/performer, Mr. Show) popular podcast of the same name, COMEDY BANG BANG cleverly riffs on the well-known format of the late night talk show, infusing celebrity appearances and comedy sketches with a tinge of the surreal. In each episode, Aukerman engages his guests with unfiltered and improvisational lines of questioning, punctuated by banter and beats provided by bandleader, one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan), to reinvent the traditional celebrity interview. Packed with character cameos, filmic shorts, sketches and games set amongst an off-beat world, COMEDY BANG BANG delivers thirty minutes of absurd laugh-loaded fun featuring some of the biggest names in comedy.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Michael Cera (Arrested Development), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Ed Helms (The Office), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Seth Rogen (50/50), Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), “Weird Al”
Yankovic (comedian/musician), and many others, all join in on the laughs with Aukerman and bandleader, one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan).
COMEDY BANG BANG is produced for IFC by Abso Lutely Productions; Aukerman, Leo Allen and Dave Kneebone serve as executive producers. Jennifer Caserta, Debbie DeMontreux, Christine Lubrano and Evan Shapiro serve as the executive producers for IFC.
Premieres Friday, June 8
BUNK is a comedy game show where a panel of comedians compete in inane challenges to win surreal prizes. Contestants are armed with nothing but their wits as they respond to images they’ve never seen before, make up songs on the spot, complete drawing and sculpture challenges and
interact with modern dancers, puppies, babies, gospel singers and more, all under the watchful eye of host Kurt Braunohler.
BUNK is produced for IFC by Avalon Television; Eric Bryant, Ethan T. Berlin, David Martin, Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner serve as executive producers. Kurt Braunohler and Dan Lubetkin serve as co-executive producers. Jennifer Caserta, Debbie DeMontreux, Erin Keating, Dan
Pasternack and Evan Shapiro serve as the executive producers for IFC.
TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET (1×60)
Premieres 4Q 2012
Part contemporary movie musical, part urban operetta and part epic music video, TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET initially debuted on IFC and ifc.com in 2007 delivering the network’s most robust online audience ever. The premiere chapters were a suspenseful, mysterious, humorous and dramatic
story, packed with cliffhangers and unexpected twists and turns. Now, Sylvester, Rufus, Cathy Gwendolyn, Bridget, Big Man, Rosie the Nosy Neighbor, Twan and Pimp Lucius are back This year, the crew reunites on IFC in the next installments of R. Kelly’s continuing hip hopera about a group of characters interconnected by sexual exploits, little people and a mysterious package.
TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET is produced by Sylvester Films and Fuzzy Bunny Films; R. Kelly executive produces, writes, stars, and co-directs with Jim Swaffield; Ann Carli is the producer. For IFC, the show is executive produced by Jennifer Caserta, Debbie DeMontreux, Christine Lubrano and Evan
WHISKER WARS SEASON 2 (6×30)
Premieres 4Q 2012
The fascinating and hair raising world of competitive beard growing returns for a second season with six all=new episodes chronicling the devoted whisker warriors who travel the globe competing for top bearding honors. In this season of the IFC original docu-comedy, narrated by Emmy®
award-winning producer Thom Beers (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers), tensions are at an all-time high between the Austin Facial Hair Club and bearding champion Jack Passion, as both compete to be world champions.
WHISKER WARS is executive produced by Thom Beers, Philip D. Segal and Jeff Conroy with Jay Bennett and Diane Kay Bennett as series producers for Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company. Debbie DeMontreux, Christine Lubrano and Jennifer Caserta serve as executive
producers for IFC.
PORTLANDIA SEASON 3 (10×30; 1×60; 1×30)
Premieres January 2013; PORTLANDIA: THE BRUNCH SPECIAL Airs Summer 2012; a 30- Minute Special Airs Holiday Season 2012
From the comedic duo of Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (Sleater/Kinney, Wild Flag), the critically acclaimed PORTLANDIA caught viewers by storm, infiltrating catchphrases into the cultural conversation such as “Put a Bird On It” and “We Can Pickle That.” Hailed by Salon as the “smartest sketch comedy show on TV,” the second season, which concluded on March 9, is IFC’s most-watched series ever, delivering 13.5 million total viewers (P2+), marking a +150% increase over season one.
Throughout the first two seasons of PORTLANDIA, viewers were introduced to a variety of eccentric characters, including Peter and Nance, an overly eco-conscious couple caught up in the organic and local food movement; Bryce and Lisa, an artsy, obsessive couple who find new trends to explore; and Toni and Candace, the formerly activist, self-involved shopkeepers of the feminist bookstore, “Women and Women First.” The show continues to feature an eclectic roster of guest stars including Kyle MacLachlan’s recurring character as Portland’s trusty but misguided mayor, Jeff Goldblum, Penny Marshall, Tim Robbins, Andy Samberg, Eddie Vedder, and Kristin Wiig, to name a few.
In addition to an all-new season, IFC is offering viewers, who just can’t seem to get enough of PORTLANDIA, a one-hour special this summer, titled PORTLANDIA: THE BRUNCH SPECIAL, followed by a second half-hour special in time for the holidays later this year.
Shot entirely on location in Portland, OR the series is directed, co-created and co-written by Jonathan Krisel (SNL; Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job), executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video. For IFC, season three is executive produced by Jennifer Caserta, Debbie DeMontreux, Christine Lubrano and Evan Shapiro.
OUT THERE (10×30)
Premieres January 2013
OUT THERE follows the coming-of-age adventures of Chad, his little brother Jay, and best friend Chris. Living in a small town, the boys run face first into the wall of adolescence, the horrors of puberty, first loves, mortal enemies, local legends, and social ostracism. They experience the wonderment and frustration of that terrifying limbo between childhood and adulthood. Growing up is weird to do… OUT THERE.
OUT THERE is created, written by and executive produced by Emmy® winning animation director and producer, Ryan Quincy, who was the longtime animation director for South Park. The series is produced for IFC by 20th Century Fox Television.
MARON (working title; 10×30)
Premieres 3Q 2013
Marc Maron has been a comedian for 25 years. He’s had his problems. He was an angry, drunk, self-involved, twice divorced compulsive mess for most of his adult life, but with the popularity of a podcast he does in his garage and a life of sobriety, his life and career are turning around. MARON
(wt) explores a fictionalized version of Marc’s life, his relationships, and his career, including his incredibly popular WTF podcast, which features conversations Marc conducts with celebrities and fellow comedians. Neurosis intact, Maron is uniquely fascinating, absolutely compelling and brutally funny.
Produced for IFC by Fox Television Studios and Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle, MARON (wt) is directed by Oscar® winning director Luke Matheny (God of Love) and executive produced by Marc Maron, Denis Leary, Jim Serpico, Olivia Wingate, and Duncan Birmingham, who also serves as
the series’ writer.