IFC announced today a fresh, eclectic new programming slate, as well as a new look and brand direction, embodied by the tagline, “Always On. Slightly Off.” Unveiling this month, the new brand is an evolution of IFC’s original programming strategy, and reflects the attitude of its 70 percent male audience (Source: MRI Spring 2009).
Against the backdrop of this new brand, IFC is evolving its programming mandate from a focus on indie film to being a home for original and acquired content that bears an “Always On. Slightly Off.” sensibility. Continuing its commitment to original programming, the network has greenlit two new series with an emphasis zon scripted comedy, a genre already thriving on the network with series like “Food Party,” “The Whitest Kids U’ Know,” “Arrested Development” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
“The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” stars David Cross and Will Arnett in their first project together since “Arrested Development.” This IFC original series will air in fall 2010. “Onion News Network” is first television series based on the popular alternative weekly fake newspaper and web series, slated to air in first quarter 2011.
In addition, IFC has acquired “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town,” a “Kids in the Hall” reunion series debuting in August, and “Dead Set,” a satirical zombie horror series that takes place on the set of the U.K.’s “Big Brother” house, premiering in October 2010.
“Our re-brand and these new shows were driven by IFC evolving from being first and foremost about indie film to showcasing programming that’s always on’ the mark, but with a slightly off’ indie perspective,” said Jennifer Caserta, executive vice president and general manager of IFC. “It’s a perspective and attitude we share with our audience, who crave the kinds of unconventional stories, characters, talent, execution, and above all, authenticity, we provide.”
Added Caserta: “Already our original scripted comedies are pulling in a loyal fan base and we’re thrilled to expand our commitment to the genre by working with such comedic geniuses as David Cross, Will Arnett and the masterminds behind The Onion.”
“We’re also continuing our successful strategy of executing traditional formats in unexpected ways, with series like Food Party,’ and we remain committed to rescuing TV that’s just outside the mainstream, with the return of Kids in the Hall.’ It’s all part of our new sharp-cool-twisted’ content filter, which allows us to develop and recommend great shows that our viewers can connect with and pass on to their friends.”
The following is IFC’s line-up of original series in production and acquired series:
Original Series in Production
“The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” 6×30
Created by, written by, and starring David Cross (“Arrested Development,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks”), “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” follows the misadventures of Todd Margaret (Cross), a corporate nobody and pathological liar who unexpectedly finds himself running his company’s London office. Assigned by his blowhard boss (Arnett) to launch a new (and terrible) energy drink, Todd Margaret is quickly in over his head, knowing nothing about British cultureor sales.
Special guest appearances by Spike Jonze (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and Amber Tamblyn (“The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants”) add yet another layer to the comedic misfortunes.
“The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” is a co-production between IFC and RDF Television, part of the RDF Media Group, co-written by Shaun Pye (“Extras”) and executive produced by RDF TV’s Head of Comedy, Clelia Mountford. Executive producers for IFC are Debbie DeMontreux, Jennifer Caserta, Evan Shapiro, Dan Pasternack and Christian Vesper. The series will premiere on IFC in fourth quarter 2010.
“Onion News Network,” 10×30
The best fake news network in the world brings a scripted comedy series to television for the first time on IFC. Inspired by the weekly newspaper and based on the web series of the same name, “Onion News Network” on IFC will be a weekly report of nonsensical news, hilarious headlines and over-the-top debates between the show’s news anchors and guests.
“Onion News Network” is executive produced by Julie Smith and Will Graham and produced by Area Man Productions LLC. Executive producers for IFC are Jennifer Caserta, Evan Shapiro, Debbie DeMontreux and Christine Lubrano. The series will make its debut on IFC in first quarter 2011.
“The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town,” 8×30
Famous for their sketch comedy, all five original Kids – Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson – reunite in this eight episode comical murder-mystery series in an all-new narrative format. The Kids play nearly all of the 20 new characters, including men, women and a Grim Reaper called “Death.”
When the mayor of Shuckton, Ontario is found murdered everyone in the town is a suspect. When an arrest is made and the trial plays out, the entire town is affected and its dark secrets are unraveled and exposed.
“The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” will make its U.S. debut on IFC in August 2010. The series was conceived by Bruce McCulloch who also executive produces. It was co-written by all five Kids and is produced by Susan Cavan of Accent Entertainment.
“Dead Set,” 1×45, 4×30
During eviction night on the U.K. “Big Brother” series, zombies emerge and begin attacking humans. Meanwhile, the remaining housemates are clueless as to what’s happening outside their four walls, and are unknowingly kept safe from the chaos that’s erupted on the streets as zombies make their way into the television studio only feet away. Few people are able to escape from the walking dead as they prey on helpless victims, including one of the show’s crew members, Kelly. When she makes her way into the house to alert the cast, they work together to concoct an escape plan. Will they make it to safety without being “bitten”?
“Dead Set” will make its U.S. debut on IFC over five nights, October 25-29, at midnight (12 am et/pt). “Dead Set” is produced by Endemol Entertainment with Zeppotron, directed by Yann Demange and written and created by Charlie Brooker.