Comedy Central Picks Up Digital Series

Comedy Central has greenlit digital series “This Is Not Happening” for an eight-episode season to air on the linear channel — the cabler’s first promotion of a series developed by its inhouse CC:Studios unit.

“This Is Not Happening” features host Ari Shaffir jawing with his comedian buddies in front of a live audience at L.A. strip club Cheetahs. Series is exec produced by Shaffir, Eric Abrams, Sam Saifer and Jeff Tomsic, who will direct the season. Show is skedded to premiere on Comedy Central in the fall of 2014.

“The only reason we are picking up ‘This Is Not Happening’ is to prove we can incubate an idea digitally and then have it migrate to the linear channel,” said Kent Alterman, president of content development and original programming for Comedy Central. “And also, it’s really funny storytelling with fantastic talent.” Added Shaffir: “F— yeah!”

Comedians featured on CC:Studios’ two seasons of “This Is Not Happening” include Kurt Braunohler, Joey Diaz, David Koechner, Bobby Lee, Natasha Leggero, TJ Miller, Trevor Moore, Kumail Nanjiani, Jay Oakerson, Steve Rannazzisi and Joe Rogan.

Shaffir is repped by the Gersh Agency and Sam Saifer Management.

Comedy Central created CC:Studios in January 2013 to develop original comedy content for digital distribution. Last fall, the Viacom-owned cabler eliminated its standalone digital group and reorganized its management structure to take a “holistic approach” to cross-platform programming, while retaining the CC:Studios division.

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