Reality-focused truTV is expanding into scripted programming with a green light to its first-ever sketch-comedy series: Friends Of The People, for a launch this summer. It stars comedians Kevin Barnett (Guy Code), Jennifer Bartels (In Living Color reboot), Jermaine Fowler (Comedy Underground With Dave Attell), Lil Rel Howery (In Living Color reboot), The Lucas Bros. (22 Jump Street) and Josh Rabinowitz (I Just Want My Pants Back). The network has ordered 10 episodes, including the pilot, for Friends Of The People scripted sketches and man-on-the-street segments. The sketches in the pilot include a previously-untold story from television history, and the adventures of “Tracy Morgan Freeman.” 3 Arts Entertainment and Marobru Productions (Chappelle’s Show) are producing, with 3 Arts’s Michael Rotenberg and Avi Gilbert and Marobru’s Michele Armour executive producing alongside the series’ and showrunner/director Neil Punsalan (The Pete Holmes Show). The cast members also serve as writers and executive producers, with Josh Rabinowitz and Kevin Barnett as head writers. Friends Of The People is the perfect show to mark truTV’s entrance into the world of sketch comedy,” said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. The show is designed to fit into TruTV’s slate of reality comedy series that includes Impractical Jokers, Killer Karaoke and Upload With Shaquille O’Neal.
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