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[07/23/04 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Comedy Central
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The cable portion of the TCA's summer press tour began on Wednesday in which the networks outlined their plans for the 2004-05 season and beyond.

Here's the breakdown of Comedy Central's presentation (via press release):

Reality TV Gets Animated on COMEDY CENTRAL'S(R) New Series 'Drawn Together' Premiering October 27

Television's First Animated Reality Series to Bring Together Eight Iconic Archetypes from the World of Animation Under One Roof Including "Captain Hero," "Spanky Ham," "Foxxy Love," "Toot Braunstein" And "Wooldoor-Sockbat"

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- This is the true story of eight characters, picked to live together in a house to find out what happens when people stop being real and start getting animated. COMEDY CENTRAL's "Drawn Together," television's first animated reality series, is set to premiere on Wednesday, October 27 at 10:30 p.m.* with the first of eight episodes.

"Drawn Together" presents a world where cartoon characters from various genres of animation are brought together to live under one roof. The characters leave their animated "reality" and enter a new world where their cartoon universes collide with a bang, combining different styles of animation and different personalities all "drawn together." This is COMEDY CENTRAL's first original animated series that is drawn traditionally and in 2-D digital ink and paint animation.

The eight stars/housemates represent iconic archetypes from the world of animation and include: "Captain Hero," a not-so-moral do-gooder reminiscent of the Saturday morning TV super heroes of the 70's; "Clara," a 20-year-old sweet and naive fairy-tale princess; "Toot Braunstein," a black and white pudgy heart throb from the 20's; "Foxxy Love," a sexy mystery-solving musician; "Spanky Ham," a foul-mouthed internet download pig; "Ling-Ling," an adorable Asian trading card mini-monster; "Wooldoor-Sockbat," a wacky Saturday morning "whatchamacallit"; and "Xandir," a strong young adventurer, similar to the great video game warriors.

The characters, all with different lifestyles and personalities, create alliances with some of their housemates, but often the fighting and backstabbing take center stage. This skewers the world of animation, and also parodies many cliches of reality television. Also, whenever the moment calls for a musical number, the characters are prone to break into song. The songs too are spoofs from various genres of animation (the emotional love song ballad, the girl-group rock band, group sing-a-long), but with original lyrics.

Credits for "Drawn Together" include Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser as creators, writers and executive producers. The series is based on characters developed by Silverstein, Jeser and Jordan Young ("The Simpsons"). Zoe Friedman is the executive in charge of production for COMEDY CENTRAL. Silverstein and Jeser previously served as writers on COMEDY CENTRAL's "The Man Show" as well as Fox's "Action" and "Andy Richter Controls the Universe."

COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 85 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is http://www.comedycentral.com.

Wanda Sykes Takes This Job and Shoves It to New Heights in Her All-New Comedy Central(R) Series 'Wanda Does It'

Premiering Tuesday, October 5 at 10:30 p.m.*

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- Wanda Sykes triumphantly returns to COMEDY CENTRAL and proves that no job or challenge is off-limits in her new series entitled "Wanda Does It," premiering Tuesday, October 5 at 10:30 p.m., following episodes of "Chappelle's Show" at 10 p.m.

This weekly, half-hour series focuses on Sykes' real-life attempts to do everyday jobs outside show business, with an "I can do that" attitude. In the premiere episode, she recounts a bad experience with turbulence on a recent flight and decides she can easily learn to fly a plane. How hard could it be?

Upcoming episodes find Wanda working different jobs in and around a Las Vegas casino and later, when Wanda gets rid of her car and then wants it back, she learns the fine art of "repossession."

Each week, a cast of characters interacts with Sykes, including comedic actor Tim Bagley as Wanda's manager, with appearances by comedienne Sue Murphy and others.

Sykes stars and executive produces "Wanda Does It," with Lance Crouther and Eddie October also serving as executive producers. Sykes' and Crouther's production company, Brick To The Head Productions, will produce the series in association with COMEDY CENTRAL's Central Productions, LLC. Margy Yuspa is the executive in charge of production for COMEDY CENTRAL.

Sykes' past collaborations with COMEDY CENTRAL include her successful one- hour stand-up special, "Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied," as well as starring in her own "COMEDY CENTRAL Presents" half-hour special. She also hosted the stand-up series, "Premium Blend," and lent her voice to COMEDY CENTRAL's hit series "Crank Yankers" as Gladys Murphy. Sykes has made numerous film appearances in comedies such as, "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" and "Pootie Tang."

Sykes wrote, produced and starred in her own FOX series "Wanda At Large" and can also be seen on HBO in Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Her book, Yeah, I Said It, is available in bookstores on September 21.

Lance Crouther co-created and served as co-executive producer on "Wanda At Large," in addition to writing for such shows as "The Chris Rock Show," "On The Record With Bob Costas" and co-screenwriter for the film, "Down To Earth."

His acting credits include the title role in the film "Pootie Tang."

In addition, the duo won two Emmys, one for writing on "The Chris Rock Show" and one for their work on HBO's "Inside The NFL."

Eddie October has extensive experience producing comedy, working with such talent as Dennis Miller, George Carlin, Billy Crystal and Gary Shandling. Most recently, he has served as executive producer on "Bands Reunited" for VH1, "The Ryan Seacrest Show" and "The Bachelor: Women Tell All Reunion." COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 85 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is http://www.comedycentral.com .

* All Times ET/PT

It's 'All in the Family!' as COMEDY CENTRAL (R) and Norman Lear's 'Declare Yourself' Team-Up to Promote Voting Among Young People Through a Co-Branded Voter PSA Campaign

Launching July 23, PSA Campaign Is Directed by Kevin Smith and Features Ray Romano, Wanda Sykes, Larry David, Ben Affleck, Jay and Silent Bob, Molly Shannon, Adam Brody, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Zach Braff and Amy Poehler

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- COMEDY CENTRAL and television and film producer Norman Lear, the founder of the national nonprofit, nonpartisan "Declare Yourself" voter registration campaign, have joined forces to encourage youth voter registration for the 2004 presidential election, it was announced today by Cathy Tankosic, senior vice president, marketing, COMEDY CENTRAL and Norman Lear, founder, "Declare Yourself."

"Though this is our third election year voter drive at COMEDY CENTRAL, we are especially proud and excited to be working with Norman Lear and 'Declare Yourself' this year," said Tankosic. "The 'Declare Yourself' campaign takes our previous efforts one step beyond building awareness about the need to vote by directing young people to http://www.declareyourself.com where they can learn how to register to vote. We believe using humor in our PSAs will enable the message of how quick and easy it is to participate in this year's election to more effectively resonate with our audience."

"In partnership with COMEDY CENTRAL, we're using the power of humor and entertainment to reach young people in an unexpected way to encourage them to do something serious," said Lear. "And what could be more important in an election year than to inspire a new generation of voters to participate in civic activism?"

Just how will comedians and celebrities stress the importance of voting and campaign issues to young people? By doing virtually nothing. The campaign, directed by theatrical film director Kevin Smith ("Clerks," "Dogma" "Chasing Amy" and "Jay and Silent Bob"), will feature various comedians and celebrities performing mindless and transitory activities, such as toasting a cheese sandwich or cleaning a hamster cage, to highlight the similar effortlessness that goes into registering to vote. The campaign will unfold in two phases -- a register to vote flight, which will run from July 23-September and a follow-up flight to get out the vote in October. Examples of the PSAs include:

* Actress/Comedienne Wanda Sykes plays an intense video game with a little kid and says, "In the time it takes this nine-year-old to kick my ass in this video game, you could be online finding out how to register to vote."

* Actor Ben Affleck takes a new role as a pedicurist for a gruff German woman named Utta. While sitting on a stool in front of the stout woman, he says to the camera, "You know, in the time it takes me to pumice out the heel calluses of this mani-pedi specialist, you could be online finding out how to register to vote."

* Actor/Comedian Ray Romano reveals his secret to reeling-in women, "Guys, chicks dig registered voters. Trust me. When I was single I'd go to parties and drop my voter registration status into the conversation."

* Actor Zach Braff is seen holding a live snake when he says, "The venom of the deadly jungle viper kills a person in less than an hour. Going online to find out how to register to vote only takes a couple of minutes."

"Declare Yourself" in a national nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign that will energize a new movement of young voters to participate in the 2004 presidential election. Through empowerment, entertainment, information and technology, "Declare Yourself" will challenge all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29, especially first-time voters, to find his or her reason to register to vote.

The COMEDY CENTRAL public service announcements will direct viewers to the "Declare Yourself" web site at http://www.declareyourself.com , where young people can gain access to information about voter registration, where and when to register, absentee ballots, how to stay abreast with campaign issues, how to find polling places and how to vote on Election Day. The COMEDY CENTRAL spots will also be available for viewing on the "Declare Yourself" web site beginning on July 23.

Most prominently recognized for his creation of the controversial character "Archie Bunker" in the hit sitcom "All in the Family", Norman Lear continues to use comedy to make an impact on society. Lear founded the "Declare Yourself" organization, which will use a coalition of media, entertainment and corporate giants to help encourage young, eligible voters to vote in the 2004 election.

COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 85 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is http://www.comedycentral.com .





  [july 2004]  
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· ACTION (FOX)
· ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE (FOX)
· CHAPPELLE'S SHOW (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· CRANK YANKERS (MTV2)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· DRAWN TOGETHER (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· INSIDE THE NFL (SHOWTIME)
· ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS (HBO)
· SIMPSONS, THE (FOX)
· WANDA AT LARGE (FOX)
· WANDA DOES IT (COMEDY CENTRAL)





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