It seems like hardly a few weeks ever go by without Comedy Central announcing plans for some new series, typically built around one or two comedians that happen to be hot at the moment. The new announcement of new shows on the network is no different, except that the talent involved makes it much more interesting.
Comedy Central has picked up three new series to go into production: a "weekly topical" series hosted by Anthony Jeselnik, a sketch/stand-up hybrid series starring Amy Schumer and a The Ben Show, a sketch/man-on-the-street show starring comedian Ben Hoffman. There's nothing there that sounds even remotely new for Comedy Central; Jeselnik is hosting his version of The Daily Show (or The Showbiz Show with David Spade or Sports Show with Norm Macdonald), while Schumer and Hoffman are starring in variations on Chappelle's Show (or Mind of Mencia, or Michael and Michael Have Issues...the list goes on). The thing is, I don't really care. I'm not all that familiar with Ben Hoffman, but I'm a big enough fan of Jeselnik and Schumer that I'll gladly give anything they do a chance. It's good to see Comedy Central investing in some strong comic voices (both Schumer and Jeselnik also recently taped stand-up specials for the network, so they're going to be all over that channel in a couple of months).
The bad news? Comedy Central has just as much of a track record of greenlighting new shows as they do for canceling those same shows in just a matter of weeks. Very few series on the network last in the long run, so all three shows are going to have to score big ratings if they hope to survive. I sure hope they do -- not just because I'm pulling for the three comics involved, or because I'm a fan, but because Comedy Central needs more than the same four shows and reruns of National Lampoon's Van Wilder in its rotation.
All three new shows are expected to begin airing in 2013.
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