SundanceTV, June 30, 2014

SundanceTV Hashes Out The Brilliant And The Despicable In Pop Culture In New Original Series The Approval Matrix Beginning August 11th at 11 PM ET/PT

Hosted By Comedian Neal Brennan And Inspired By New York Magazine’s Iconic Feature, New Series Will Feature Appearances By Amy Poehler, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart

New York – June 30, 2014 – SundanceTV announced today that its newest original non-fiction series, “The Approval Matrix” will premiere Monday, August 11th at 11pm ET/PT. Inspired by the celebrated pop culture roundup feature of the same name in the award-winning New York Magazine, the six episode talk show will be hosted by comedian Neal Brennan (“Chappelle’s Show,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “The Mindy Project”) and executive produced by Rory Albanese (“The Daily Show”) and Ish Entertainment’s Michael Hirschorn (“Best Week Ever”) and Wendy Roth (“Fix My Family”) . Each half hour episode is uniquely designed for those both impatient with and fascinated by the pop culture cacophony all around us.

Each week, Brennan and a rotating panel of celebrity guests will sort through, debate about, and tally up what’s on everyone’s radar.  From the highbrow and the lowbrow to what’s brilliant vs. despicable, no topic or commentary is off limits. The series will feature sketches and field pieces as well as one-on-one interviews between Neal and writer and producer Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), television host Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) and comedian Chris Rock (“Eat, Drink, Laugh”).

The Panelists include:
Jason Biggs – (Actor, “Orange is the New Black”)
Hannibal Buress – (Comedian, actor “Broad City”)
Whitney Cummings – (Comedian, actress, “Whitney,” and showrunner “Two Broke Girls”)
Rob Delaney – (Comedian, author of “Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.”)
Judah Friedlander – (Comedian, actor “30 Rock”)
Willie Geist – (Co-host, “Today Show”, “Morning Joe”)
Julie Klausner – (Correspondent, Vulture, comedian,  and host of “How Was Your Week” podcast)
Kurt Metzger – (Comedian, writer, “Inside Amy Schumer”)
Jim Norton – (Comedian, radio co-host, “The Opie & Anthony Show”)
Donnell Rawlings – (Comedian, former cast member of “Chappelle’s Show”)

“This lively new series aims for the sweet spot between Chelsea Handler and Bill Maher, Wendy Williams and Charlie Rose, providing hilarious and provocative perspective on popular culture,” said Sarah Barnett, President of SundanceTV. “‘The Approval Matrix’ curates the keenest and most relevant pop culture issues of our day and delivers it through the irreverent filter of some of comedy’s smartest and funniest personalities.”

“Over the past decade, The Approval Matrix has morphed from an editorial parlor game to something with a life very much of its own — starting cocktail party conversations and the occasional bloody brawl,” said Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York magazine. “It’s not really our page anymore — it belongs to the readers–and now we’re excited to share it with television viewers too.  SundanceTV is the perfect partner to bring our magazine pseudo-science project to three-dimensional life.  We’re looking forward to many half-hours of brilliant television, high-brow and low.”

“The Approval Matrix” is produced by Emmy® award winners Michael Hirschorn and Wendy Roth of Ish Entertainment.  Host Neal Brennan is best known as the creative force and executive producer behind “Chappelle’s Show,” which he developed with Dave Chappelle.  In addition to writing and developing multiple comedic sketches, shows and films, Brennan is a well-known personality on the standup comedy circuit. His highly rated Comedy Central special “Women and Black Dudes” aired in January 2014. Showrunner Rory Albanese is a multi-Emmy® award winning producer. He has executive produced and written for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” since its first season in 1999.

SundanceTV’s non-fiction original series explore aspects of our contemporary culture in fresh and surprising ways.   “The Approval Matrix” builds on the networks’ programming slate which includes the second season of the lauded series “Rectify” from the producers of “Breaking Bad” which premiered on June 19th.  Its highly anticipated original miniseries, “The Honorable Woman” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, which premieres July 31st, the recently announced scripted original mini-series “One Child” premiering in late 2014 and the recently announced second season of the innovative nonfiction education experiment “Dream School.”

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About SundanceTV
SundanceTV is making and celebrating television as distinctive as the best independent films. Working with today’s most remarkable talent, SundanceTV is attracting viewer and critical acclaim for its original scripted and unscripted series. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., SundanceTV delivers on the spirit of founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.

About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates AMC/Sundance Channel Global and AMCN Chellomedia, international programming businesses that reach over 138 countries, and AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, a full-service network programming origination and distribution company.

About New York Media
New York Media is the parent company of the ground-breaking New York magazine; the up-to-the-minute news and service website nymag.com; the Grub Street food site; the entertainment and culture news site Vulture; the full-fledged fashion and lifestyle site The Cut; and the twice-yearly New York Weddings and New York Design Hunting magazines.

About Ish Entertainment
Ish Entertainment is a full-service production company founded in New York in 2008 by Michael Hirschorn, formerly EVP of Original Programming at VH1, where he contributed to a doubling of ratings and a tripling of revenue for the Viacom network.  Ish has grown into a powerhouse on both digital and linear fronts, producing numerous series and specials for MTV, VH1, Lifetime, Oxygen, Bravo, CMT, Style, and others. Ish Digital produces series for Conde Nast, the Wall Street Journal, Scripps, and Harper Collins, and many more. Ish is also a half owner of the digital networks company IconicTV, which has partnerships with Jay-Z, Meredith Vieira and others.

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Contact:

SundanceTV Contact:
Suzy Berkowitz-Weksel / suzy.berkowitz-weksel@sundance.tv / 646-273-3541
Kayla Kertis (FerenComm) / kaylak@ferencomm.com / 651-888-6607
Caragh Fisher (FerenComm) / caraghf@ferencomm.com / 212-983-9898

New York Media Contact:
Lauren Starke / lauren.starke@nymag.com/ 212-508-0781