After ‘Portlandia’ Premiere, IFC Plans 2 New Comedies

Faux game and talk shows to be added in 2012

On the heels of a star-studded premiere for the second season of hit Portlandia last night, IFC plans to add two new original programs to the its prime-time slate in 2012, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the programming.

IFC declined to comment on the record about the two shows, but multiple sources said the network had planned to announce them at the Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles at the end of next week. Sources close to the matter said both shows would occupy a one-hour, back-to-back, prime-time block in 2012, although the day and time have not been decided yet.

The first program is a new comedy game show tentatively titled Bunk. It'll be hosted by comedian Kurt Braunohler and is being described by sources close to the program as a cross between the old ABC improv program Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Remote Control, the old MTV game show. 

Contestants—mostly improv comics from across the country—will compete in absurd contests for prizes such as "dental work" or "their father's love." For example, in the show's pilot, which sources said might or might not air, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent Kristen Schaal competes with comedian Kumail Nanjiani in a segment called "Fix This Animal." They're shown a picture of an animal and asked how they would "improve" it (Nanjiani opts to upgrade a squirrel with WiFi). 

Sources said the program, which is being produced by Avalon Television, was discovered at the New York Television Festival last year. According to sources close to the program, it will be the first comedy project from that festival to make it to a national TV network.

The second program IFC planned to announce is a comedy talk show called Comedy Bang! Bang! based on a podcast of the same name by comedian Scott Aukerman. Comedy Bang! Bang!, which is being produced by Abso Lutely Productions, is described by network insiders as a highly unrealistic version of a variety show—a mixture of Pee-wee Herman and Dick Cavett that will feature celebrity guests, comedy sketches, animation and music. The show's "bandleader" will be comedian Reggie Watts.