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The web series allowed them to learn on the job.
Bell and Newhouse have known each other for years, going back to their days in LA comedy troupe The Groundlings. When they wanted to write a series for themselves, they landed on the Idiotsitter premise because it could be done very cheaply, shooting all of it in the same location. (The TV show occasionally contrives excuses for Gene to go out into the world, but most episodes take place in and around the mansion.)
Comedy Central asked Bell and Newhouse to try Idiotsitter as a web series first before turning it into a traditional TV show. The TV version retraces much of the web show's ground — the pilots are very similar, and this week's TV episode from a webisode — but it's more polished, because they had a chance to figure out what didn't work in a lower-profile environment.
"In the web series, we had room for error a little bit more," says Bell. "We tried stuff that was a little wackier, and it didn't work as well."