Ferrell, McKay, director Matt Piedmont and writer Andrew Steele will shepherd “The Spoils of Babylon,” an original scripted comedy that will be a faux TV adaptation of an soapy, epic novel set in the oil industry, written by a fictional author played by Ferrell. Six halfhour episodes will premiere late this year.
“This is a crazy and maybe even a stupid idea,” Ferrell said. “IFC is either really courageous or really stupid which makes them the perfect partner for us.”
Funny or Die, co-founded by Ferrell and McKay, will produce the series.
“The opportunity to partner with Funny or Die and this enormously accomplished team known for their genre-bending, over-the-top satire immediately drew us to this project,” said IFC prexy/g.m. Jennifer Caserta. “We couldn’t have found better talent to parody this genre of television.”
Odenkirk and Stiller – former teammates on Fox’s “The Ben Stiller Show” – are exec producing sketch comedy series “The Birthday Boys,” featuring the Los Angeles comedy group of the same name along with Odenkirk. The initial order is for 10 episodes, also airing later this year. Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein of Stiller’s Red Hour shingle will also exec produce.
“The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos,” Stiller said. “They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of ‘Portlandia.’ ”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so.”
The series will be in the vein of “Mr. Show,” the HBO skein led by Odenkirk and David Cross. The Birthday Boys include Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen.
“The Birthday Boys are a super funny and fresh new comic voice,” Odenkirk said. “I will try not to slow them down.”
Said Caserta: “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. 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.”