IFC to get a whole lot funnier with 'Larry Sanders Show,' 'Ben Stiller Show' and other '90s comedy repeats
Channel also adding 'Action' and 'Mr. Show with Bob and David'
IFC was already on my happy list for putting repeats of "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" into a rotation that already included "Arrested Development" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus," and now the channel is adding even more awesome comedy reruns.
Starting January 3rd, "The Larry Sanders Show" (the seminal HBO comedy starring Garry Shandling as a neurotic late-night talk show host and Jeffrey Tambor as his idiot sidekick) will go into heavy IFC rotation, airing Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11 p.m. Two nights later, "The Ben Stiller Show" (a short-lived FOX sketch comedy series that gave early breaks to Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk and Andy Dick) begins airing Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m., and on January the 7th, "Mr. Show with Bob and David" (Odenkirk and David Cross' avant garde HBO sketch show) begins a run Fridays at 11:30 p.m.
IFC also announced that reruns of "Action!" - the short-lived FOX comedy starring Jay Mohr as a vicious, foul-mouthed movie executive - will come to the channel towards the end of 2011.
There's a lot of overlap in the talent for these shows, particularly the first three. Judd Apatow wrote on both "Ben Stiller" and "Larry Sanders," Odenkirk acted on all three and worked with Cross on "Stiller" and "Mr. Show," etc. And there's an obvious spiritual kinship between "Larry Sanders" and "Action." I enjoyed all those shows to varying degrees - I still quote from various "Ben Stiller Show" sketches nearly 20 years after FOX canceled it - and am using this occasion as an excuse to embed some of my favorite scenes from each that were available on YouTube:
Underdog private eye drama ends its superb first season on a high note
A Janet Montgomery spotlight mainly highlights the strengths of the pre-existing characters
What happens if/when the two Olivias are returned to their proper universes?
A weak season comes to a strong end as Jax tries to solve the Jimmy O. problem
The sessions get ugly in the season's penultimate week
Boxing drama, animated spy comedy airing in January
"Sons of Anarchy" wraps up its third season tonight, "Terriers" concludes its first (and hopefully not only) tomorrow, and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League" are close to finishing their respective seasons, as well. ("The League" on Dec. 9, "Sunny" on Dec. 16.) So FX is gearing up for its next wave of programming, announcing January premiere dates for its new boxing drama "Lights Out" and its returning animated spy comedy "Archer."
"Lights Out" is about an aging former heavyweight champ (Holt McCallany) struggling for both a direction and a way to pay the bills after some bad investments - as written by former "In Treatment" showrunner Warren Leight, it's like the plot of "Rocky V" only, you know, good. (I saw the pilot before summer press tour and liked it a lot.) It debuts Tuesday, January 11 at 10 p.m.
"Archer," starring H. Jon Benjamin as the world's cockiest secret agent in the world's most dysfunctional spy agency - and featuring a terrific supporting cast including Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter and Chris Parnell - will be back Thursdays at 10 starting on January 27. I enjoyed that show a lot last year, and the premiere is very funny.
After the jump, trailers for the upcoming seasons of both shows:
A thank you from the writers, as well as suggestions on how to help the finale do well
The "Terriers" finale airs tomorrow night at 10 on FX. I've already sung the praises of this great, terribly underrated (in the literal sense) show, and before the finale airs, the show's three main creative voices - Ted Griffin, Shawn Ryan and Tim Minear - wanted to say a few words of thanks to the audience, as well as offer some suggestions (beyond e-mailing your praise to firstname.lastname@example.org) for making the show look good to FX:
Old contestants prove the perfect ingredient for the veteran reality franchise
I did something the other day that I haven’t done in what feels like a very long period of time: I watched an episode of “Top Chef.”
For a while, I considered the Bravo cooking competition show the class of reality TV. (Non-fashion division, anyway; the subject matter of sister show “Project Runway” was always too big a barrier for entry.) But after a few seasons of it, the show fell off my radar, at a time when I was purging my viewing schedule of most unscripted shows in an attempt to make things more manageable. I hadn’t grown frustrated with the types of contestants or outcomes, the way I had with, say, “Survivor” - I just felt like I’d seen enough iterations of it and wanted to move on to something else. I sampled spin-off “Top Chef Masters” briefly, but didn’t expect to be back with the franchise full-time.
Then the “Top Chef” producers did a very clever thing and called a play that all aging reality franchises eventually try: they did an all-star season.
Timothy Dalton shines as Volkoff and Frost return for another "Die Hard" homage