11 new programs added to 2007 Webcast slate

Comedy Central.com announced the addition of 11 programs to its 2007 Webcast slate, which will include the first-ever series to feature a lineup of exclusively Muslim-Americans.

The new slate brings the total number of original Web-based programs to 25, and joins the Webcast’s current hits like Internet cult fave “Odd Todd,” about a slacker’s misadventures in unemployment, and “Tiny Hands,” a live-action show about the life of a man with baby-sized hands, created by longtime “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” scribe Jon Glaser.

Among the broadband shows launching is “The Watch List,” a six-episode run featuring 12 Muslim comedians beginning Monday. Show was created and produced by Dean Obeidallah and Max Brooks.

Given the subjective nature of comedy, Muslim-based comedy could cause a potential problem among viewers, especially those in the Muslim community.

“I am not concerned,” said network senior veep Lou Wallach. “I think there’s credibility that it’s coming from their own mouth. We’re not trying to incite a riot. I think it will draw attention in a good way. These are Middle Eastern comedians with a strong point of view and something to say. They’re not out there to offend or pick a fight. They’re comedians.”

Wallach compared the shows to “Mind of Mencia” and “Chappelle Show,” two shows that have drawn some sharp criticism in the past.

“It’s along those lines,” Wallach said. “We give those kind of voices a platform. It has appeal to a lot of people. It’s hard to compare those three, but it’s the same kind of barometer.”

The mix of established talent and freshmen efforts create a potential clearinghouse of talent, said Wallach. “It’s a virtual sandbox and more people can play. It’s a level playing field, a great equalizer — people with a lot of experience, media executives, and guys sitting at home in high school and college with a camera from Best Buy. The traditional means of access have changed.”

The 2007 lineup ranges from programs teaching newbies to do standup to Comedy Central’s core brand product — absurdist comedy stock.

“Stephen & Steven” is an animated show about Siamese twins who are attached at the groin and obsessed with Internet dating. “Racist Travel Agents” is a live-action show featuring an excited, upbeat married team of travel experts who also happen to be unbelievably racist.

In “Crash Course In Comedy,” comedycentral.com teaches lessons in standup for beginners. “Window Seat” is an animated series about a put-upon business traveler and the various weirdos who sit next to him on the plane. The lineup also includes “Judge Fudge,”, “Guacamole,” “Monsters,” “Super Special Dog,” “That’s My Daughter,” and “Awesome Friends.”

The laffer net’s broadband channel, launched November 2005, was one of the first network Web sites to premiere original broadband series.

In the past year, the site has unveiled an extensive lineup of original programming including animation, live-action narratives, and topical standup performances and sketch comedies.

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