IFC has greenlit original scripted comedy series The Spoils Of Babylon, produced by Funny or Die, and The Birthday Boys, a sketch comedy series executive produced by Bob Odenkirk and Ben Stiller who first worked together on Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show.
The Spoils Of Babylon, which has received a six-episode order, is an adaptation of a best-selling novel by fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh (played by Ferrell). The blowsy century-spanning saga chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of a family who made their fortune in the oil business. Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live) co-wrote the script with Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre) who is directing. The two executive produce with Ferrell and McKay. “This is a crazy and maybe even a stupid idea,” said Will Ferrell. “IFC is either really courageous or really stupid which makes them the perfect partner for us.”
The Birthday Boys, which has a 10-episode order, features the Los Angeles comedy group of the same name (UCB Theatre Los Angeles) along with Odenkirk. The series is in the vein of absurd/silly/smart/funny variety shows (Mr. Show, Monty Python), featuring sketches that twist real-life moments and cultural touchstones. An early episode tackles such issues as eggs, toilet paper and computers. “The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos. They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of Portlandia,” said Ben Stiller. “I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so.” Said Bob Odenkirk, “The Birthday Boys are a super funny and fresh new comic voice. I will try not to slow them down.” The Birthday Boys comedy group includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen. Stiller, Odenkirk, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein of Red Hour will executive produce. The series is written and co-directed by The Birthday Boys, repped by Principato Young and attorney Lev Ginsburg, and Bob Odenkirk.