The news came during the network’s upfront presentation, which was held in a downstairs room at Manhattan restaurant Upland. Although quarters were tight, the turnout was good. Among the 50 or so attendees were AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan and COO Ed Carroll, IFC president Jennifer Caserta, Azaria, Seth Meyers and the cast of the Baroness von Sketch Show, which also is returning to IFC this year.
Meyers, a creator of Documentary Now! along with Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Rhys Thomas (Lorne Michaels is also an exec producer), said the one-year sabbatical for the show was prompted by scheduling but could turn out to be a positive thing.
“We’re so appreciative of their patience,” he said. “I think the year off will be helpful. I think when we come back — you know, fingers crossed — when you take time and come back you do those Roseanne numbers.” He said upcoming targets for the show, which has lovingly sent up iconic docs from Grey Gardens to The War Room, will include Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present and miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. On the latter, “With our budget, that’s pretty impressive to pull off,” Meyers quipped.
Azaria spoke briefly, both in and out of character, nodding to today’s opening of the Major League Baseball season. As himself, he declared that he is a fan of the New York Mets, the occasionally brilliant but mostly frustrating runner-up to the crosstown Yankees, who have won 27 World Series. Then, in Jim Brockmire’s down-home-but-with-a-shot-of-bourbon announcing voice, he joked, “The Mets are the Yankees … of not being the Yankees.”
Season 2 of Brockmire is set to premiere April 25. The first season put up the best numbers of any debut show in IFC’s history.
The network also announced a batch of shortform programming, designed to play both on the linear network and across digital and social platforms. Shows include Sloth TV, a take on the “slow TV” movement; ’80s nostalgia trip Night Flight; and Bingo Night, which will feature IFC employees drawing numbers in an actual bingo game. The event also nodded to ongoing collaboration with Funny or Die, in which AMC Networks is an investor. The digital brand is one of the producers of Brockmire and other series in the pipeline.