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Comedy driven to ‘Distraction’

Laffer net orders six episodes of torture skein

Comedy Central is teaming up with FremantleMedia, the company behind “American Idol” and “The Swan,” for the primetime gameshow “Distraction.”

Laffer net has ordered six episodes of the skein, which tests players’ ability to withstand various forms of torture while answering relatively simple trivia questions. Cabler is eyeing a premiere later this year.

Michael Dugan (“Trigger Happy TV”) is onboard as showrunner.

Based on the U.K. series of the same name, “Distraction” features contestants struggling to answer questions while undergoing such “distractions” as electrical shocks and body-piercing.

Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central’s senior VP of original programming and development, said that, unlike the cabler’s recent attempts to expand outside its core aud of young men (including “Chappelle’s Show” and “The Graham Norton Effect”), this show is in the channel’s wheelhouse.

‘No politeness’

“It has a surprising, shocking value in the sense of, ‘I can’t believe they did that to those contestants,’ ” she said. “And it is completely irreverent. There is no politeness between the host and contestants.”

Producers are looking to sign a host.

FremantleMedia North America CEO Tom Gutteridge called the series the “anti-gameshow.”

“Players take part in this gameshow in which the whole point of the game is to keep them from answering the questions,” he explained.

Gutteridge noted some of the more extreme challenges performed overseas aren’t likely to be used Stateside: “One of the games had the contestants singing karaoke while standing underneath birds pooping on their heads.”

Dugan exec produced Spike TV’s “Girl Talk,” USA’s “Smush” and AMC’s “Battle of the Film School Geeks.”

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