NBC Pumps Up DotComedy

NEW YORK NBC today said it plans to develop at least 10 original series this year for its new comedy-focused Web site.

DotComedy, which launched in beta form a few months ago, has typically featured clips of older standup comic performances and episodes of the 1950s sitcom Leave It to Beaver. But NBC said the site by year’s end would showcase various short-form original shows, some of which will incorporate user-submitted video content.

Among the forthcoming series are Hot Tub in Space, about four twentysomethings who are launched into orbit while enjoying their hot tub; Easter Bunny Begins, a prequel to The Easter Bunny Hates You, a popular viral video produced last year by NBC Universal’s Digital Studios; and a news parody program that will pay viewers for jokes.

Also in the works are Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: Live In Las Vegas, which features uncensored standup performances from the vulgar puppet dog seen on Late Night With Conan O’Brien; and Kyle’s in a Coma, a show depicting a group of bored friends waiting for their friend to emerge from a coma.

Beyond originals, DotComedy will also become a hub for fans to discover clips from NBC’s classic comedy programs, including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and the original Late Night With David Letterman from the 1980s.

NBC is banking on the network’s comedic heritage and the general popularity of humorous video clips to lure users to DotComedy.

“NBC Universal has built a great history of comedy from late night to must-see TV,” said Jeff Gaspin, president, NBC Universal cable entertainment, digital content and cross-network strategy. “Comedy is one of the most successful genres on the Web, and this broadband channel will appeal to the advertisers’ targeted demos.”