TBS Gives Series Order to Wyatt Cenac Comedy ‘People of Earth’

Jon Stewart last Daily Show
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central

TBS has given a series order to “People of Earth,” an ensemble comedy from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco banner that stars “The Daily Show” alum Wyatt Cenac.

The Warner Horizon TV series revolves around a support group for people who have been abducted by aliens. TBS announced the 10-episode pickup as part of its presentation Thursday at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Cenac plays a journalist who is skeptical of the alien-abduction claims at first but comes to suspect that he’s had his own close encounter.

David Jenkins wrote the pilot. “People of Earth” marks a reunion for O’Brien, a nightly presence on TBS with his latenight talker “Conan,” and veteran comedy showrunner Greg Daniels. The two got their start together as TV writers out of Harvard in the 1980s. Daniels directed the pilot and exec produces with O’Brien, Conaco’s David Kissinger and Jeff Ross and Larry Sullivan. Jenkins is a co-exec producer.

“Having Greg Daniels executive-produce and direct a project for us at such an early stage in the network’s evolution is huge. His keen ability to assemble a brilliant ensemble cast has obviously worked well in the past,” said Brett Weitz, TBS’ exec VP of original programming. “We’ve been searching for just the right sophisticated and funny scripted comedy series to develop with our partners at Conaco. I believe we found that in this wonderfully original script by David Jenkins.”

The large ensemble includes Oscar Nunez, a veteran of Daniels’ “The Office,” Ana Gasteyer, Michael Cassidy, Nancy Lenehan, Luka Jones, Alice Wetterlund, Brian Huskey, Tracee Chimo, Bjorn Gustafson and Ken Hall.

The single-camera “People of Earth” is part of a wave of new series heading to TBS as the new management regime led by Turner Entertainment chief creative officer Kevin Reilly.

“Angie Tribeca” — a spoof of police procedural dramas created by Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Carell — is the leading that charge.

The series starring Rashida Jones bows Jan. 17 with a 25-hour, commercial-free marathon of all 10 episodes of the first season on TBS’ and its online authenticated platforms. To support the marathon, “Tribeca” co-star Deon Cole will host live “Binge-A-Thon” segments running in between each episode. The segments will feature interviews with the cast and other guests including O’Brien and Samantha Bee, who is to launch her own weekly late-night series on TBS next month, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”

Also Thursday, TBS set Jan. 25 as the premiere date for “Conan in Qatar” special featuring the host’s trek with first lady Michelle Obama to visit U.S. troops stationed in the Middle Eastern nation.

TBS confirmed that O’Brien will be heading back to San Diego in July for a week of shows from the Comic-Con confab.

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  1. Ashley says:

    It’s also a reunion for Greg and Wyatt, since Wyatt wrote for “King of the Hill.”

    Everything I’ve heard about this so far has been really good. It’s ideal material for Conan and Greg to reunite over, and he has really good people in the cast. I just hope this doesn’t kill the HBO project Greg was working on! Is the idea for him to stay on as showrunner for the duration, or is he just getting it off the ground and then handing it off to Jenkins?

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