The Telefile

IFC: They Might Need to Put a Bird on It

by F. John Rickert March 22, 2011 5:17 pm
IFC: They Might Need to Put a Bird on It

While some mostly original content has been on IFC for the past few years, over the past few months the channel has worked hard to place more of these shows front and center on its schedule. They've changed their logo, given us Portlandia, and today they threw down the gauntlet by having their very first honest-to-goodness upfront. While most channels work to produce huge spectacles to wow reporters and advertisers, today IFC gave us a chill laid back presentation fitting for a post-SXSW week. The whole event was so subdued that even Suzanne Sena opening the presentation in her Onion News Network persona, Brooke Alvarez, wasn't even annoying. We were then told just how cool IFC is and how it is working to "curate alternative comedy," so that we would know that even though they were holding an upfront they still were proud to be serving their own spot in television the "media of the niches." Even if they were almost too chill, I have to give them credit for not overusing buzz words like "authentic." After a pithy rundown of the new shows, Fred Armisen was brought out as if a bird to be put on a tote bag to announce that they will beginning writing the next season of Portlandia in April.

All told IFC did renew Onion News Network and David Cross's The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, everyone loves to put birds on things now, and most of the shows they have lined up are going to be basic comedy nerd viewing material. So here's our rundown of the channel's new programs:

Commercial Kings
Taking the idea behind a website and turning it into a TV show is usually a bad idea. However, IFC has somehow made the idea for seem like it should have been on TV to begin with. Starring the site's comedy team, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, the show will follow them as they find small, kind-of out there local businesses and help their owners produce kitschy budget commercials to run during the local news. From the footage they showed, it seems like the business people are mostly in on the joke, and McLaughlin and Neal rarely seem mean-spirited on their site so this might actually be fun to watch when it premiers on June 24th.

Whisker Wars
Actually produced by the same guy who came up with Deadliest Catch and its ilk, Whisker Wars is an intense look at the men in the world of competitive facial hair. How this joke is going to play past the first episode is beyond us, but IFC has ordered seven episodes.

Greg & Danny
The winners of the New York TV Festival's Out of the Box award, this web series is about two yokels who examine the Internet and the world at large from their small Pennsylvania town. It will be interesting to see if there is actually plot or narrative development in the TV series consider each webisode is mostly just a one-off sketch.

Young, Broke & Beautiful
IFC didn't have any footage to show us, but this show is based on Broke-Ass Stuart's travel books for traveling cheaply. As funny, vulgar, and interesting as his books are, we are optimistic about the show, but will reserve judgment until we see anything from it. Broke-Ass Stuart was going to be at the upfront himself, but got delayed trying to shoot the show which premieres June 24th.

Scott Aukerman...something something...Comedy Death-Ray
While the show doesn't have a title (or footage) yet, it looks like the Comedy Death-Ray people are making a TV with IFC. If this means nothing to you go download the podcast.

Without much more than blind optimism (and no video yet) IFC is really excited about this improv comedy game show for comedians, but we can only get so excited by the idea of Kurt Braunohler on IFC again.

Bullet in the Face
About a psychotic criminal who must work for the police after getting shot in the face, this show sounds more [adult swim] than IFC, but maybe it will surprise us. Once again they didn't show us any footage of this show, but they don't expect it to air until 2012.

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