IFC Greenlights New Original Comedy Series From Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk
THE BIRTHDAY BOYS, IFC
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IFC has greenlit ten half-hour episodes of The Birthday Boys, a new scripted original sketch comedy to join the network's "Always on. Slightly off." line-up later this year. Executive produced by Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show) and Ben Stiller (The upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander), The Birthday Boys features the Los Angeles comedy group of the same name (UCB Theatre Los Angeles, Just for Laughs Festival) along with Odenkirk.
"The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos. They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of Portlandia," said Ben Stiller. "I'm thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so."
Said Bob Odenkirk, "The Birthday Boys are a super funny and fresh new comic voice. I will try not to slow them down."
The series is in the classic vein of absurd/silly/smart/funny variety shows (Mr. Show, Monty Python), featuring sketches that twist real-life moments and cultural touchstones. An early episode tackles such issues as eggs, toilet paper and computers.
The Birthday Boys comedy group includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen?whose combined credits include Parks and Recreation, The Office, Conan, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and Portlandia.
"Bob is iconic in the sketch world and we're thrilled to take him back to his roots with such an incredibly talented sketch troupe," said Jennifer Caserta, president and general manager of IFC. "We've received great recognition for airing Mr. Show and The Ben Stiller Show and are confident our audience will find The Birthday Boys similarly fresh, smart and original."
Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein of Red Hour will executive produce with Abso Lutely producing the series for IFC. The series is written and co-directed by The Birthday Boys and Bob Odenkirk.
IFC creates and champions authentic, original comedies that are "Always On. Slightly Off," which air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and comedic Cult TV shows. IFC.com features exclusive video, web series, podcasts, blogs and additional content that engages fans with IFC originals. The network's On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives viewers the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. Established in 1994, IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and is available in over 70 million homes on every major cable, satellite and TelCo provider.
About RED HOUR
Founded by Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld, Red Hour is a Production Company dedicated to discovering new writers and filmmakers while developing projects with a mainstream sensibility across multiple media platforms.
Red Hour Films recently completed production on "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which Stiller directed, produced and stars in alongside Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott and Patton Oswalt. The film is slated for a December 25, 2013 release.
Red Hour credits include "Zoolander," "Dodgeball," "Starsky and Hutch," "Blades of Glory," "The Big Year," "30 Minutes or Less," "Submarine," "Megamind," and "Tropic Thunder" which garnered several award nominations including an Academy Award(R), BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe(R) for Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of 'Kirk Lazarus', as well as a Golden Globe(R) nomination for Tom Cruise's performance as 'Les Grossman'. "Tropic Thunder" also won the Broadcast Film Critics Award and Hollywood Film Festival Award for Comedy of the Year.
On the small screen, Red Hour inked an overall deal with ABC Studios and brought in veteran executive Debbie Liebling to run the company's newest division, Red Hour Television. Under the pact, Red Hour TV will develop and produce comedy and drama projects for ABC Studios.
And on the even smaller screen, Red Hour has a Digital arm run by Mike Rosenstein. With a first look deal at Paramount's Insurge Pictures, RHD develops and produces comedy projects for digital distribution. The second season of the wildly successful Bachelor-parody, "Burning Love" can currently be found on Yahoo, while Season 1 is currently airing on E! television. RHD's first venture was the successful 26 episode series "Stiller & Meara". Upcoming projects include a "Zoolander" animated web series, as well as a continuation of the You Tube series "Next Time On Lonny".
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