‘Larry Sanders,’ ‘Ben Stiller,’ ‘Mr. Show,’ ‘Action’ headed to IFC

 
IFC has acquired four comedies — “The Larry Sanders Show,” “The Ben Stiller Show,” “Mr. Show with Bob and David” and “Action” — to add to its burgeoning slate of classic laffers.

All of the shows except “Action” will premiere the first week of January, joining a rotation that includes “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” “Arrested Development,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared.” IFC will launch “Action” in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The cabler has made a big bet on comedy of late, also ordering such original series as “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” (with David Cross of “Mr. Show”) and the upcoming “Portlandia” (with Fred Armisen of “Saturday Night Live”) and “Onion News Network.”

All four new acquisitions have a cult appeal. “Larry Sanders” (89 episodes) is the best known, but primarily to an HBO audience. The other three were, like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared,” cult favorites, with “Ben Stiller” and “Action” (starring Jay Mohr) limited to a single season of 13 episodes apiece. There are 30 episodes of “Mr. Show.”

IFC will offer sneak-peek marathons of “Mr. Show” and “Larry Sanders” on New Year’s Day. For the series’ official IFC premiere night, Comedy Death-Ray founder Scott Aukerman (“Mr. Show”) will host a special 90-minute showcase that includes interviews with such performers as Sarah Silverman and Andy Dick.

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