EXCLUSIVE: TBS has ordered two comedy series ahead of its upfront presentation next week: Deon Cole’s Black Box, written by and starring Conan writer and performer Deon Cole and executive produced by Conan O’Brien; and Who Gets The Last Laugh?, from Punk’d co-creators Jason Goldberg and Ashton Kutcher. The series, both from Warner Horizon Television, are slated to premiere in 2013.
The network has picked up six episodes of Deon Cole’s Black Box. On the weekly show, the writer-comedian will provide his take on some of the most outrageous video clips to pop up across the media landscape. In his commentary, he is expected to riff on racial and gender stereotypes, politics and more. Deon Cole’s Black Box is produced by O’Brien’s Conaco and Warner Horizon, with Conaco’s Conan O’Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger executive producing alongside Cole and Doug Karo. Cole, repped by APA and manager Kirsten Ames, shared in Conan and The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien‘s writing Emmy nominations. As a stand-up, he has been featured on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central Presents, among others. He also hosted Starz’s’ Martin Lawrence presents 1st Amendment Stand-Up. Comedy Central has been very successful with Tosh.0, a show built around commenting on video clips, and there are several other projects in the works at other cable networks in that vein. Syfy is developing Stranger Than Fiction, featuring comedians competing for laughs while commenting on and arguing over the strangest clips from the web; and TruTV just ordered a pilot for Upload With Shaquille O’Neal, featuring O’Neal and friends rounding up the week’s online video clips.
Who Gets the Last Laugh? (working title), which has received a nine-episode order, is in the vein of Kutcher and Goldberg’s hidden-camera hit Punk’d. It pits two comedians against each other in the ultimate prank challenge. They have to come up and execute funny and outrageous pranks on regular folks. A live audience will determine the winner. Who Gets the Last Laugh? is produced by Katalyst and Warner Horizon, with Katalyst’s Goldberg serving as executive producer and showrunner, and Kutcher as executive producer. “Deon Cole’s Black Box and Who Gets the Last Laugh? come to us from some of today’s brightest comedic voices, affirming the power of the TBS brand to comedy lovers,” said TBS head of programming Michael Wright. “These shows are not only extremely funny but also irreverent, provocative and a little bit subversive, making them ideal for fans of TBS’s Conan, The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy.” TBS just added another series to that list, the newly acquired Cougar Town. The network’s upcoming slate includes new comedy series Men at Work, Sullivan & Son, Wedding Band and the reality-competition series King of the Nerds (working title), hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong.