TruTV has greenlit three new series — Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Greatest Ever and Lifescaping — and two new specials: The Problem with Apu (working title), a feature-length documentary from comedian Hari Kondabolu. In advance of next week’s upfront presentation, truTV also said it had picked up an-all new Impractical Jokers live special that will follow on the heels of last year’s live punishment event.
On the development front, the Turner network has ordered six new pilots, including scripted offerings Small Victories and I’m Sorry. Both are working titles. Small Victories is a comedy series about confronting everyday injustices, written by and starring Melissa Hunter. I’m Sorry is a comedic look at confronting one’s inner immaturity and neuroses, written by and starring Andrea Savage. New unscripted pilots include untitled projects from Hari Kondabolu, Kevin Pereira and Olivia Lee; they join an untitled project for a comedic news show in development, created by Jena Friedman.
On the renewals side, truTV has ordered new seasons of Fameless and Hack My Life. Previously the network announced that scripted comedy Those Who Can’t, which recently completed its first season, will return later this year for Season 2. Additional episodes have also been ordered for first-season series Comedy Knockout and Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Snack. These renewals join current series Adam Ruins Everything, Billy on the Street, Impractical Jokers and The Carbonaro Effect, to round out the network’s current slate of original programming.
“The new truTV is built around compelling, creator-driven shows featuring clear points of view and unique takes on different topics and formats, all told through a strong comedic lens,” network president Chris Linn said in today’s news. TruTV went through an extensive rebrand in October 2014 to target younger and more affluent viewers. During the period of Q4 2015 to Q1 2016, truTV delivered an audience with a median age of 35, which is a full three years younger compared with the same time a year ago. Additionally, March 2016 marked the best month ever for truTV’s total video views across all platforms with more than 47.2 million video starts of original content in that time frame.
Beginning Q4 2016, all of the network’s 45 hours of original quarterly programming will drastically reduce their commercial loads resulting in 20% more content and giving the network the lowest average commercial and promo time in all of television.
“Chris and the entire truTV team have delivered on their promise to develop a fresh, comedic environment with passionate, socially engaged fans,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales, forecasting the network’s build on its stated goal of “enhanced storytelling” and “low clutter” will make the truTV environment a “must-buy for advertisers.”
New truTV Series & Specials:
Greatest Ever – New series premiering Tuesday, July 5
Hosted by comedian Amanda Seales, Greatest Ever is a fast-paced, informative and fun pop-culture comedy countdown show that takes viewers through the “do’s” and “don’ts” of topics like weddings, animal videos, sports, politicians and awesomely, unintentionally funny inventions, infomercials and products. truTV has ordered six half-hour episodes of Greatest Ever, which is produced by Meetinghouse Productions.
Impractical Jokers Live Event Special (wt) – Two-hour live special debuting Fall 2016
Following in the high-wire footsteps of last year’s Impractical Jokers 100th Episode Live Punishment Special – a resounding success with more than 3.7 million viewers and 86 million combined social impressions – the series will once again embark on a massive live event special this fall. The stakes will be even higher this year – an impressive feat considering last year Joe, Murr, Q and Sal tested their balance and fear of heights with a high-wire walk from New York City’s South Street Seaport. The two-hour special will be produced by NorthSouth Productions.
Jon Glaser Loves Gear – New series premiering Fall 2016
In this new hybrid comedy series, actor and comedian Jon Glaser (Trainwreck, Parks and Recreation, Girls) endeavors to make a docu-series about his life revolving around one of his biggest passions… gear. Ironically, however, it is this ever-growing gear obsession that continually threatens to derail the show. You like gear? You like Jon Glaser? You like the show. You don’t like gear? You don’t like Jon Glaser? Maybe you still like the show. Either way, Jon Glaser will still love gear. truTV has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of Jon Glaser Loves Gear from creator Jon Glaser, with PFFR.
Lifescaping (wt) – New series premiering Summer 2016
Lifescaping is a guide to all those real-life skills you’re expected to know but no one ever taught you – things like how to get a bartender’s attention, the best ways to go on a road trip and determining when lying is the right thing to do. Hosts Matthew Latkiewicz and Abbi Crutchfield mix sketches, expert advice and on-the-street interviews to help viewers get their life game on point. truTV has ordered 13 half-hour episodes of Lifescaping, which is produced by Redtail Media.
The Problem with Apu (wt) – 90-minute special premiering Fall 2016
Comedian Hari Kondabolu, the creator and star of this feature-length documentary, confronts his long standing “nemesis” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – better known as the Indian convenience store owner on The Simpsons. Through this comedic cultural exposé, Kondabolu questions how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist – intact – twenty-six years later. The Problem with Apu is produced by Marobru, Inc. and Avalon Television.
New truTV Pilots & Projects in Development:
I’m Sorry (wt) – Produced by The Lonely Island through their production company Kablamo! and Gloria Sanchez Productions
I’m Sorry is a scripted comedy written by and starring actor and comedian Andrea Savage about a seemingly confident, together comedy writer, wife and mom, who is forced to expose her inner immaturity and neuroses as life hands her situations no one could have prepared her for.
Small Victories (wt) – Executive Produced by Melissa Hunter and Debbie Liebling
Written by and starring Melissa Hunter, Small Victories is a scripted comedy centering around Margot, a young upstart lawyer, who after a minor nervous breakdown in court, finds herself disbarred, living at home with her parents, working as a barista and going to a book club with her three remaining friends. As she navigates her new reality, she becomes keenly aware of life’s daily injustices and forms an amateur vigilante squad to take on everyday jackasses while simultaneously trying to get her life back on track.
Untitled Hari Kondabolu Pilot (wt) – Produced by Marobru, Inc. and Avalon Television
Comedian Hari Kondabolu uses his incisive and critical brand of comedy to skewer all things politics and pop culture in this weekly, satirical series. From Columbus Day to the death of high school reunions to the United States’ soon-to-be white minority, Kondabolu isn’t afraid to go there, and uses a variety of interview, sketch and displays of public activism to deliver hilarious and oftentimes biting social commentary.
Untitled Kevin Pereira Project (wt) – Produced by Super Creative Media
Host Kevin Pereira has a searing passion for games, gadgets and exploring every questionable corner of the internet. This new series will let viewers experience how amazing the future will be before it arrives, while celebrating the absurdity of everything that has led to right now.
Untitled Olivia Lee Project (wt) – Produced by Red Hour Films along with Asylum Entertainment
UK comedian Olivia Lee takes on a wide range of hilarious and larger than life characters in this half-hour hidden camera meets sketch series. Known for her brazen and funny stunts in real-life situations, she’s now taking America by storm and hooking unsuspecting people along the way.
Untitled Comedic News Show (wt) – In development; Produced by Omelette Bar Productions along with True Entertainment
Comedian Jena Friedman and an ensemble cast of comedic performers will use this half-hour series to celebrate, send up, satirize and sift through politics, pop culture and all things new media.