Comedy Central to bow skein on Web
HOLLYWOOD — Comedy Central has engineered a deal to premiere standup series “Live at Gotham” on the cabler’s broadband video channel MotherLoad — several months before it debuts on the laffer net.Pact marks the first time programming from the broadband site will migrate to the main channel. Comedy Central has greenlit six one-hour episodes of the skein, a showcase of New York’s emerging comedians, from Levity Prods. Full-length episodes will bow some time this summer, but before that, laffer net will stream exclusive segments from the series online starting March 27. “Live at Gotham” will tape Sundays beginning March 26 at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York. Producers will then edit together overnight the most topical segments from each of the six featured comedians sets for viewing the next day on MotherLoad. Laffer net senior VP of original programming and development Lou Wallach said it’s also likely that those segments will be made available on wireless platforms and possibly on iTunes ahead of its linear premiere. “Part of what turned us on to this show was that we could produce it in a way that would allow us to separate out the topical stuff and put it on our other platforms almost immediately,” Wallach said, noting that the channel has long been in the market for new voices to comment on the day’s headlines. “We have Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert doing the news and headlines every night. But we thought there was an opportunity for new talent from new mediums to give us their takes on the news, whether it be about politics, sports or pop culture.” Stu Schreiberg, Robert Hartmann and Judy Marmel Brown are exec producers of “Live at Gotham.” Standup has recently been a boon for Comedy Central: Since arriving two weeks ago, standup specials toplining Dane Cook and Mitch Hedberg have ranked among the top 10 downloaded videos on iTunes — outranking other programs from MTV Networks and even broadcast fare like “Desperate Housewives.” Comedy Central has aggressively been pursuing original content for MotherLoad and various other digital platforms. Cabler is in production on “The Clip Joint” (working title), a series of shortform episodes designed to launch on mobile phones and other wireless platforms. Series is another showcase for emerging performance talent that doesn’t fall under the traditional standup category. “The Clip Joint” was a pilot shot for the broadband channel that will instead have life on cell phones before moving over to the Web.