Comedy Central has revealed its slate of new shows in development, and holy crow, it’s an ambitious one. It’s all driven by new programming chief Kent Alterman, whose achievements include getting Strangers With Candy on the air, and it looks like he’s making good on his attempt to “get more stuff going in that vein” at the network. At first glance, it looks fairly promising: There’s no Secret Girlfriend, Krod Mandoon, or The Jeff Dunham Show to immediately set off warning bells, and it’s heavy on projects with comedians who have proven themselves to be massively funny in other things. Add this stuff to new Futurama episodes (starting in June) and The Onion Sports Network (January 2011), and maybe Comedy Central won’t have to rerun Just Friends quite so many times in 2011. Here’s what you can expect to see in the coming year:
- Shows about people being dicks—including A-Holes, described as being about “two big-time jerks,” and Nick Kroll/Jon Daly’s Rich Dicks, based on the highly amusing series of Funny Or Die shorts about two moneyed douchebags partying in L.A.
- Mockumentaries like the also Funny Or Die-spawned Jon Benjamin Has A Van, in which the Archer/Home Movies star “uncovers oddities in a newsmagazine format;” Patrice O’Neal’s Guide To White People, a self-explanatory show where the comedian “tackles race relations in a unique way;” and Steel Panther, a loosely scripted look at the very real ‘80s-style hair metal parody band, co-created by Jackass star Jeff Tremaine and Brian Posehn.
- Plays on traditional TV tropes, like Bill Burr and Kevin Hart in a “modern-day Odd Couple” that’s executive produced by Bruce McCulloch; Mars, an office comedy that takes place in outer space; The Fuzz, a “parody of gritty police procedurals” set in a world where humans coexist with puppets; Nocturnal Mission, a sitcom starring Chris D’Elia as an alien sent to Earth to convince comedian Moshe Kasher to impregnate as many women as possible; and Big Lake, the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay comedy about a guy who moves back in with his parents (which received some early publicity when star Jon Heder left the show over “creative differences”).
- Lots of sex talk—especially in the new Live Sex Show, a panel chatfest with celebrity guests, sketches, and “titillating conversation” hosted by Bert Keischer and Attack Of The Show’s Layla Kayleigh—but also in Intercourse With Whitney Cummings, which is described as a “twisted Sex And The City.”
- Tons of shit aimed at “stoners,” including: Midnight Drop Box, described as a “stoner horror anthology;” an untitled pilot from Andre Hyland, animator Mike Mayfield, and Bob Odenkirk that’s being called an “irreverent stoner sketch show” about the “petty squabbling of three stoner-ish roommates;” and Highdeas, which “investigates the strange questions posed by stoners,” based on the website.
- An honest-to-God sketch show—one that also has a stoner-ish title—from Upright Citizens Brigade called This Show Will Get You High, written by Matt Besser and Eric Zicklin, and featuring footage of the troupe performing all across the country.
- A still-untitled show from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe that’s all about minor-league umpires trying to break into the majors.
- A TV version of the film Waiting…, which should go nicely with the 20 times a week they run that movie.
- Plenty of cartoons, of course, including one about Jesus adapting to life in 21st century that will draw lots of inevitable references to the South Park/Muhammad thing; Joe Squad, a parody of Saturday morning superhero cartoons that—given its multiple references to characters being “over-sexed” and “insanely jacked,” is already giving off Drawn Together vibes; and Supermax—not to be confused with Superjail!, even though it will be—about a group of “well-known inmates of a real super maximum security prison in Colorado who learn to live and love.” (Also: “Comedy gets a life sentence in this ‘arresting’ comedy, where the only crime is not to laugh.” Seriously. It seriously says that.)
- And finally, projects built around comics Jim Jeffries, Reggie Watts, Denis Leary, and Norm MacDonald—provided some jerk hasn’t already canceled Norm’s project out of force of habit, of course.