Today at TCA, IFC announced that the pilot episode of its first original comedy horror series Stan Against Evil will debut with a special Halloween night premiere at 10 PM, followed on Nov. 2 by the official series premiere with back to back episodes at 10 PM and 10:30 PM. The 8-episode season will then air Wednesdays at 10 PM throughout the fall. On stage during the show’s TCA panel, writer and executive producer Dana Gould (Simpsons, Parks and Recreation) revealed that he initially conceived the project as a 3-minute short.

“I never set out to shop it to the networks. (I was) going to do it out of my own pocket, for fun,” said Gould, who appeared on today’s panel with producer/star John C. McGinley and cast member Janet Varney (Gould’s co-EP Tom Lassally was not present).

Gould said he was having a casual meal with IFC programming executive Peter Aronson, “just two dudes eating chicken,” when Aronson said “You should write a funny X-Files.” The series that resulted follows Stan Miller, grumpy retired sheriff of a small New England town built on the site of a massive 17th century witch-burning, and the new sheriff (played by Varney), as they fight a plague of unleashed demons.

The sheriff character is inspired by Gould’s Dad, 85, whom he affectionately describes as an Archie Bunker without the charm. The show, he said, is “What if my Dad was Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”

Gould said he loves The Evil Dead and other recent horror genre series but “this is a comedy that is nestled in a horror show like a Russian doll. To that end I think it is its own animal.”

Gould said that the tone of the series is informed more than anything by the movie An American Werewolf in London. But he cited Pretty Woman as his favorite horror movie.