Turner's truTV Announces 2016-17 Programming Slate with 16 New Creator-Driven Series, Pilots, Specials and Renewals
Revamped Comedy Network Continues to Drive Strong Results, Gaining Viewers, Increasing Engagement and Getting Younger Since Brand Refresh
As one of Turner's youngest, most socially-engaged networks, truTV enters the 2016-17 Upfront season with news of a robust slate that builds on its roster of original programming from some of the industry's freshest new comedic talent. First up, the network has greenlit three all-new series: Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Greatest Ever and Lifescaping (working title). truTV has also given the go-ahead to two new specials: The Problem with Apu (working title), a feature-length documentary from comedian Hari Kondabolu, and an-all new Impractical Jokers live special that will follow on the heels of last year's juggernaut live punishment event.
On the development front, the network has ordered a total of six new pilots, including two scripted offerings - Small Victories (working title), a comedy series about confronting everyday injustices written by and starring Melissa Hunter, and I'm Sorry (working title), a comedic look at confronting one's inner immaturity and neuroses written by and starring Andrea Savage. New unscripted pilots include untitled projects from Hari Kondabolu, Kevin Pereira and Olivia Lee, which all join an untitled project for a comedic news show created by Jena Friedman in development.
On the renewals side, truTV has ordered new seasons of Fameless and Hack My Life, as well as the previously-announced scripted comedy Those Who Can't, which recently completed its first season and will return later this year for season two. Additional episodes have also been ordered for two first-season series, Comedy Knockout and Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack. These renewals join current series Adam Ruins Everything, Billy on the Street, Impractical Jokers and The Carbonaro Effect to round out the network's current slate of original programming.
"Having successfully re-launched truTV in 2014, we have now turned a corner when it comes to premium content," said network president Chris Linn. "The new truTV is built around compelling, creator-driven shows featuring clear points of view and unique takes on different topics and formats, all told through a strong comedic lens. Armed with this momentum and a fresh slate of programming from a diverse group of talent, we are building on a solid foundation and brand promise that is breaking through and clearly resonating with a growing audience of highly-coveted fans."
truTV went through an extensive rebrand in October 2014 and has since emerged as a network with a passionate fan base of viewers that are younger and more affluent than their predecessors. During the period Q4 2015 - Q1 2016, truTV delivered an audience with a median age of 35, which is a full three years younger as compared to the same time a year ago, bucking industry trends as most of the television landscape gets older. During this period, the network ranked as one of cable's top networks among young adults. A social powerhouse among the Turner portfolio, truTV's social platforms have seen tremendous growth since the network's rebrand, punctuated in Q1 2016, when the network's YouTube channel more than doubled its video views and more than tripled its engagement levels versus a year ago. Additionally, March 2016 marked the best month ever for truTV's total video views across all platforms with more than 47.2 million video starts of original content in that time frame.
Establishing itself as a forward-thinking industry leader, truTV was the first network to announce its commitment to more content. Beginning Q4 2016, all of the network's 45 hours of original quarterly programming will drastically reduce their commercial loads resulting in 20% more content and giving the network the lowest average commercial and promo time in all of television.
"Chris and the entire truTV team have delivered on their promise to develop a fresh, comedic environment with passionate, socially-engaged fans," said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales. "As we build on that promise with enhanced storytelling and low clutter, the truTV environment has become an exclusive must-buy for advertisers."
Below is a complete rundown of truTV's latest programming moves.
New truTV Series & Specials:
Greatest Ever - New series premiering Tuesday, July 5
Hosted by comedian Amanda Seales, Greatest Ever is a fast-paced, informative and fun pop-culture comedy countdown show that takes viewers through the "do's" and "don'ts" of topics like weddings, animal videos, sports, politicians and awesomely, unintentionally funny inventions, infomercials and products. truTV has ordered six half-hour episodes of Greatest Ever, which is produced by Meetinghouse Productions.
Impractical Jokers Live Event Special (wt) - Two-hour live special debuting Fall 2016
Following in the high-wire footsteps of last year's Impractical Jokers 100th Episode Live Punishment Special - a resounding success with more than 3.7 million viewers and 86 million combined social impressions - the series will once again embark on a massive live event special this fall. The stakes will be even higher this year - an impressive feat considering last year Joe, Murr, Q and Sal tested their balance and fear of heights with a high-wire walk from New York City's South Street Seaport. The two-hour special will be produced by NorthSouth Productions.
Jon Glaser Loves Gear - New series premiering Fall 2016
In this new hybrid comedy series, actor and comedian Jon Glaser (Trainwreck, Parks and Recreation, Girls) endeavors to make a docu-series about his life revolving around one of his biggest passions... gear. Ironically, however, it is this ever-growing gear obsession that continually threatens to derail the show. You like gear? You like Jon Glaser? You like the show. You don't like gear? You don't like Jon Glaser? Maybe you still like the show. Either way, Jon Glaser will still love gear. truTV has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of Jon Glaser Loves Gear from creator Jon Glaser, with PFFR.
Lifescaping (wt) - New series premiering Summer 2016
Lifescaping is a guide to all those real-life skills you're expected to know but no one ever taught you - things like how to get a bartender's attention, the best ways to go on a road trip and determining when lying is the right thing to do. Hosts Matthew Latkiewicz and Abbi Crutchfield mix sketches, expert advice and on-the-street interviews to help viewers get their life game on point. truTV has ordered 13 half-hour episodes of Lifescaping, which is produced by Redtail Media.
The Problem with Apu (wt) - 90-minute special premiering Fall 2016
Comedian Hari Kondabolu, the creator and star of this feature-length documentary, confronts his long standing "nemesis" Apu Nahasapeemapetilon - better known as the Indian convenience store owner on The Simpsons. Through this comedic cultural exposé, Kondabolu questions how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist - intact - twenty-six years later. The Problem with Apu is produced by Marobru, Inc. and Avalon Television.
New truTV Pilots & Projects in Development:
I'm Sorry (wt) - Produced by The Lonely Island through their production company Kablamo! and Gloria Sanchez Productions
I'm Sorry is a scripted comedy written by and starring actor and comedian Andrea Savage about a seemingly confident, together comedy writer, wife and mom, who is forced to expose her inner immaturity and neuroses as life hands her situations no one could have prepared her for.
Small Victories (wt) - Executive Produced by Melissa Hunter and Debbie Liebling
Written by and starring Melissa Hunter, Small Victories is a scripted comedy centering around Margot, a young upstart lawyer, who after a minor nervous breakdown in court, finds herself disbarred, living at home with her parents, working as a barista and going to a book club with her three remaining friends. As she navigates her new reality, she becomes keenly aware of life's daily injustices and forms an amateur vigilante squad to take on everyday jackasses while simultaneously trying to get her life back on track.
Untitled Hari Kondabolu Pilot (wt) - Produced by Marobru, Inc. and Avalon Television
Comedian Hari Kondabolu uses his incisive and critical brand of comedy to skewer all things politics and pop culture in this weekly, satirical series. From Columbus Day to the death of high school reunions to the United States' soon-to-be white minority, Kondabolu isn't afraid to go there, and uses a variety of interview, sketch and displays of public activism to deliver hilarious and oftentimes biting social commentary.
Untitled Kevin Pereira Project (wt) - Produced by Super Creative Media
Host Kevin Pereira has a searing passion for games, gadgets and exploring every questionable corner of the internet. This new series will let viewers experience how amazing the future will be before it arrives, while celebrating the absurdity of everything that has led to right now.
Untitled Olivia Lee Project (wt) - Produced by Red Hour Films along with Asylum Entertainment
UK comedian Olivia Lee takes on a wide range of hilarious and larger than life characters in this half-hour hidden camera meets sketch series. Known for her brazen and funny stunts in real-life situations, she's now taking America by storm and hooking unsuspecting people along the way.
Untitled Comedic News Show (wt) - In development; Produced by Omelette Bar Productions and True Entertainment
Comedian Jena Friedman and an ensemble cast of comedic performers will use this half-hour series to celebrate, send up, satirize and sift through politics, pop culture and all things new media.
Returning truTV Series and Premiere Dates:
Adam Ruins Everything - New episodes return Tuesday, August 23
Comedian Adam Conover continues his comically inventive yet unrelentingly serious quest to reveal the hidden truths behind everything you know and love. In this 14-episode backorder of the series' first season, he takes on topics ranging from football and weddings to drugs and prison, giving you not just fun facts to know and tell your friends, but information that will make you see the world in a whole new way. If knowledge is power, then Adam Conover will have you laughing all the way to the top. Adam Ruins Everything is produced by Big Breakfast.
Comedy Knockout - Season Two premieres Summer 2016
Hosted by Damien Lemon, Comedy Knockout pits comedians against each other in a series of fast-paced challenges, with the audience having sole discretion to decide who is the funniest person in the room. The whole time, the comedians throw roast-like, rapid-fire jabs at each other to knock their opponents off balance. Comedy Knockout is produced by Embassy Row and will return to truTV this summer with 16 new half-hour episodes.
Fameless - Season Two premieres Summer 2016
Fameless is a genre-busting half-prank, half-sketch show from the mischievous mind of David Spade. truTV has placed an order for a second season comprised of 12 half-hour episodes, which will premiere this summer and is produced by Electus and Entertainment One (eOne).
Hack My Life - Season Three premieres Fall 2016
In Hack My Life, hosts Kevin Pereira and Brooke Van Poppelen demonstrate step-by-step how to incorporate eye-popping shortcuts and cheats guaranteed to save today's busy adults a lot of time, effort and money. Produced by True Entertainment, the series has been ordered for a third season, with 12 half-hour episodes set to debut this fall.
Impractical Jokers - Season Five mid-season premiere, launch of "Inside Jokes" Thursday, July 14
The fifth season of this truTV hit returns with a very special hour-long episode, Impractical Jokers: British Invasion, in which lifelong friends Joe, Q, Sal and Murr cross the pond and double-cross each other. The guys serve up pints of awkwardness and stick out like sore thumbs, and their hilarious excursion culminates in an unforgettable punishment in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Following the mid-season premiere on July 14 will be Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes which packs classic, fan-favorite episodes of the show with sharable pop-up facts throughout. With behind-the-scenes stories and surprising factoids directly from the Jokers, this alternate version of existing content will give viewers a unique and unprecedented look behind the curtain. truTV will air 12 half-hour episodes, which, along with the flagship series, are produced by NorthSouth Productions.
Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack - 12 new half-hour episodes premiere Fall 2016
truTV's weekly showcase of never-before-seen short form comedy content, Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack features a rotating lineup of original offerings from some of the biggest and best comedic creators in a variety of styles including character-driven shorts, animation, music videos and more. The series, which is presented by Dratch, will return with an additional 12 half-hour episodes debuting this fall.
Those Who Can't - Season Two premieres Fall 2016
This fall, truTV's first scripted series Those Who Can't returns for a second season that is more unhinged and hilarious than the last. Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix (Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy) return as three trouble-making teachers who, joined by librarian Maria Thayer, are more inept than the kids they teach and are out to beat the system as they struggle to survive each day on their own terms. Produced by Thank You, Brain! Productions with showrunner Dean Lorey, Those Who Can't will return for its second season in fall of 2016.
Seen across multiple platforms in 90 million households, truTV delivers a fresh and unexpected take on comedy with such popular original series as Impractical Jokers, Billy on the Street, The Carbonaro Effect, Adam Ruins Everything, Hack My Life and Fameless, as well as the original scripted comedy Those Who Can't. And the fun doesn't stop there. truTV is also a partner in airing the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
truTV is part of Turner, a Time Warner company. Turner creates and programs branded news; entertainment; kids and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world