New Series Build on IFC’s "Slightly Off" Comedy Programming Strategy
New York, November 19, 2010 IFC announced today it will premiere its two highly anticipated new original comedy series, Onion News Network and Portlandia, back-to-back on Friday, January 21 at 10 pm and 10:30 pm, et/pt, respectively. Friday nights continue to be the go-to night for IFC’s "slightly off" original comedy series premieres, following in the footsteps of the recently concluded The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.
Onion News Network (www.ifc.com/ONN) brings The Onion’s (www.onionnewsnetwork.com) unparalleled brand of hard-hitting, merciless journalism to television-watching masses. As the nation’s number-one source for breaking news, screaming political arguments and vital information on missing teenage Caucasian girls, Onion News Network will showcase the network’s top-rated prime time show, a hyperactive graphics and sound effect-laden news explosion called "FactZone with Brooke Alvarez," hosted by the world’s most respected news-reader. The character of Brooke Alvarez is played by Suzanne Sena, best known for her work as an entertainment reporter and host on E! and a breaking news anchor on the Fox News Channel. Brooke’s co-host, Tucker Hope, is played by Todd Alan Crain, who recently became the fourth person to ever host Jeopardy!.
Portlandia is an original short-based comedy series that lovingly illustrates the people and values of Portland, Ore. Each episode will include interwoven short films starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (vocalist/guitarist, Sleater-Kinney), which portray the progressive personalities, aesthetics and values of "Portlandia."
Onion News Network:
Able to seamlessly segue from a grisly death to a cute animal story in the blink of a stunningly beautiful eye, Brooke Alvarez anchors "FactZone" with the help of her eager-to-please co-host Tucker Hope, the recipient of several industry awards for skilled manipulation of his high-tech touch-screen monitor, The Recon Wall 4000. Together they tackle important stories like "Kim Jong Il Shuts Down North Korean Nuclear Program In Exchange For Lead Role In Next Batman Film" and "Supreme Court Repeals Annoying Loudmouth’s First Amendment Rights."
Through clips on Onion News Network, viewers will get a glimpse of the 24-hour channel’s vast programming line-up, which includes:
Today Now! – Co-hosts Jim Haggerty and Tracy Gill try out new recipes and find out what’s killing America’s children on the Onion News Network’s top-rated morning show.
The Cressbeckler Stance with Joad Cressbeckler – Angry political commentator Joad Cressbeckler opines on everything from returning to the gold standard to skinning a raccoon.
Star Fix – The lovely Madison Daly gives celebrity-addicted Americans their desperately needed dose of entertainment news.
Cross Examination with Shelby Cross – Former prosecutor Shelby Cross reports on the latest legal cases, determining who’s guilty without the need for pesky evidence.
Eye On America – The Onion News Network taps one of their 12,408 local affiliates for a glimpse at what’s happening with the little people out there in the fly-over states.
Onion News Network is executive produced by Will Graham, Julie Smith and Jim Biederman as well as IFC’s Debbie DeMontreux, Christine Lubrano, Jennifer Caserta and Evan Shapiro.
Portlandia’s inhabitants include, but are not limited to: the owners of a feminist book store; a militant bike messenger; an artsy couple who attach cut-outs of birds to everything ("put a bird on it!"); an organic farmer who turns out to be a cult leader; an adult hide-and-seek league; and a punk rock couple negotiating a "safe word" to help govern their love life. The first episode depicts Armisen and Brownstein meeting with the Mayor of Portland (Kyle MacLachlan) who solicits the duo to write a new theme song for the city in a segment featuring a cameo from the real mayor of Portland (Sam Adams) playing the assistant to MacLachlan’s "mayor." The Portlandia theme song, and much of the series’ original music, is written and performed by Armisen and Brownstein.
Armisen and Brownstein star in the series, alongside an assortment of guest stars including Kyle MacLachlan (Sex & The City), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Selma Blair (Hellboy), Heather Graham (The Hangover), Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Kumail Nanjiani (Michael & Michael Have Issues), Jason Sudeikis (SNL) and Gus Van Sant (Milk). Singer/songwriters Sarah McLachlan and Aimee Mann also guest star, alongside James Mercer (The Shins), and local Portland musicians Jenny Conlee and Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) and Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney).
Shot entirely on location in Portland, the series was created and written by Armisen, Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel (SNL). Krisel is also the series’ director. The series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels; Armisen, Browstein, Krisel, and Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer are co-executive producers. Executive produced for IFC by Debbie DeMontreux, Dan Pasternack, Jennifer Caserta and Evan Shapiro.
IFC creates and champions authentic, original content that is "Always On. Slightly Off." Since 1994, IFC has cultivated television programming that challenges the conventions of storytelling. Today, IFC continues to embrace content with an indie perspective. Original series – headlined by brand-defining scripted and sketch comedy – air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and cult TV shows. Long and short-form original content inspired by music, web, gaming, animation, news, and culture is available on multiple platforms. IFC provides viewers access to must-see festivals and events around the country, like the Film Independent’s Spirit Awards and SXSW. IFC.com features exclusive video, podcasts, blogs, news and reviews cultivated and written by industry experts. The network’s On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives fans the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. IFC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media owns and operates some of the world’s most popular and award-winning entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, Wedding Central and IFC Entertainment (IFC Center, IFC Films, IFC In Theaters, IFC Midnight and IFC Productions). Additional information about Rainbow Media’s multiplatform brands is available at www.rainbow-media.com.