Fusion is adding to its schedule of satire programming.
The joint venture of Univision and ABC News said it would launch“The Chris Gethard Show,” featuring a comedian who has worked his way through the ranks of New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater to the small stage of public-access TV, for ten weeks in 2015. The show is produced by Funny Or Die and is slated to debut on Fusion in April at a date to be announced at a later time.
Gethard hosts each episode with a panel of guests, some famous, and one always seemingly very random, and asks them to take part in an improvised, one-hour show with a decidedly oddball tone.
“Chris Gethard’s brand of comedy is unlike anything else out there, but his authenticity and charm have made him one of the best-kept secrets in comedy circles for years,” said Fusion Chief Programming Officer Wade Beckett, in a prepared statement. “The best comedians make their audience feel invested in and a part of the live experience, and there’s no one who does that better these days than Chris Gethard. We can’t wait for Fusion’s audience to meet and experience the Chris we know and love.”
The decision shows Fusion moving to bolster what is already a regular schedule of non-traditional programming that is a pillar of its primetime schedule. While the network features the respected journalist Jorge Ramos at 8 p.m. , it has long used its 9 p.m. hour to move in a very different direction, featuring satirical programming like “No, You Shut Up,” a roundtable discussion program featuring creatures from Jim Henson Company gnawing over the issues of the day. The network, like another cable outlet called Pivot, is making a pitch for a millennial audience that is seen as more interested in news and issues than older generations.
In addition to the 10 original episodes set for production throughout 2015, Fusion will pick up the national broadcasting rights to 20 previous episodes from Gethard’s run on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
“For five years, we’ve been building this odd interactive thing called ‘The Chris Gethard Show’ in the murky underground world of public access,” said Gethard in a prepared statement. “I’ve been saying for years that we just need a chance to do it right. Fusion is taking that chance on us and our plan is to step up, put in the work, and connect with our viewers in a deep and real way, in order to make them look like geniuses for getting in the trenches with us.”
“The Chris Gethard Show” is executive produced by Chris Gethard, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Owen Burke, Adam McKay and AGI Entertainment’s Brian Stern and produced by Funny Or Die in conjunction with Fusion. The comedian is represented by APA and attorney Isaac Dunham.