Fox is re-entering the Saturday night sketch world with a show that is scheduled to beat Saturday Night Live to the laughs by 30 minutes.
The network announced on Thursday that it will air Party Over Here, a half-hour late-night sketch comedy on Saturdays beginning March 12 at 11 p.m. Executive-produced by The Lonely Island trio (and SNL vets) Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, along with The League‘s Paul Scheer (who also starred in MTV’s sketch series Human Giant), the show will offer up a collection of pre-taped shorts and in-studio segments filmed in front of a live audience at L.A.’s Alexandria Hotel. Nicole Byer (Girl Code), Jessica McKenna (Riot) and former SNL writer Alison Rich (Resident Advisors) will star.
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“When we first conceived this idea, we thought of it as a spin-off of Empire,” The Lonely Island said in a statement. “We failed miserably … now it’s much more of a sketch comedy show.” Added Scheer: “In an age where most millennials don’t even know what a TV is, we are really excited to be getting into the TV business.”
Fox took on NBC’s dominant SNL in 1995 by launching the sketch show Mad TV on Saturday nights; the second half-hour of the show aired opposite the first half-hour of SNL. Mad TV ran for 14 seasons.