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IFC upfronts: Bryan Cranston project in develoment

Plus: See the network’s full development slate from Thursday’s upfront presentation

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What do shows about a conservative guy-turned-self-help guru, the ’70s punk scene, and anarchist squatters have in common? They’re all part of IFC’s new development slate, which the network announced at their upfronts event Thursday.

IFC unveiled eight new comedies they’re working on developing, which includes one executive-produced by Breaking Bad alum Bryan Cranston, a How to Rig an Election adaptation, and a travel show based on Above Average’s Laughs in Translation web series. 

“These projects reflect our mission to make great content with cool people,” IFC president Jennifer Caserta said in a statement. “AT IFC, we are driven by developing smart comedy that is ‘Slightly Off’ and working with the very best creative forces, both in front of and behind the camera.” 

In addition to these projects, IFC is adding the Comedy Crib — their online hub for short-form comedy — to their television lineup. The late-night show will air weekly. 

“The Comedy Crib has become an important extension of our on-air lineup and a great way to bring new comedic voices and talent to fans, so it makes perfect sense to build this return path to our air for Comedy Crib content, and, at the same time, establish a new late-night program on IFC,” IFC senior vice president of original programming Christine Lubrano said in statement.

IFC also revealed that season 2 of Documentary Now!starring Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, will feature episodes inspired by The War Room, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Salesman. Read the descriptions for those three episodes — along with descriptions of all eight shows in development — below, and see Documentary Now!‘s seven-epsiode second season when it debuts this fall.

IN DEVELOPMENT

TODD BARTH CAN HELP YOU

Starring Steven Weber; executive-produced by Bryan Cranston, Clay Graham, Weber, and James Degus

A conservative insurance adjuster completely changes his path in life when he starts to believe he has what it takes to become a new age, self-help guru. 

CANTERBURY TALES

Created by Allison Anders and Terry Graham

The 1970s punk scene comes to rough and fumbling life when Terry, a young music aficionado, flees Texas and moves into the run-down, cockroach-infested Canterbury Apartments, in the heart of Hollywood. Terry and his rowdy female musician roommates sleep all day and make music and mayhem all night at Hollywood’s first punk rock club as they try to break into the music industry.

DETECTIVE LADY

Created by Kelly Galuska

A film noir-inspired comedy following female detective, Annie, who solves crimes in the hamlet of Sicily, U.S.A. She is a rebel crime solver with a bit of a drinking problem, a new partner to contend with, and some family history to unravel before it tears her apart.

HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION

Written and executive-produced by Tom Ruprecht

Based on the book How to Rig an Election by former political consultant Allen Raymond, the series explores the astonishingly dark underbelly of political campaigning.

GRAND LAKE

Created by Gretchen Enders

A dark comedy about two female best friends who wish nothing but the worst for each other. They share a murderous secret that most days takes a back seat to the everyday drama of their disappointing adult children, small-town politics, and an annoying, yet charming, ex-husband.

LAUGHS IN TRANSLATION

Based on the Above Average web series that starred SNL alum Brooks Wheelan, this series is a fish out of water travel show that explores what different people around the world find funny and why. With local comedians as guides, the host will travel the world to find out if anything is universally funny or if some humor is just lost in translation.

LIVING WITH YOURSELF

Created by Tim Greenberg; executive-produced by Anthony Bregman, Jeffrey Stern, and Jeff Blitz

A burned-out copywriter undergoes a novel treatment to become a better person, only to find his worst enemy is himself. Told through multiple perspectives and intersecting storylines, this inventive philosophical comedy asks: Do we really want to be better?

THIS LAND IS OURS

Written and created by Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan

Set in present day New York, this series follows a group of anarchist squatters who take over an unoccupied Harlem Row House with every intention to keep it for themselves. They are forced to defend themselves against the fat cat developers who they discover have sold the property for near billions. The bizarre collective of activists, artists, and hippies form a strong bond while waging war to bring back the gritty city they love.

DOCUMENTARY NOW! SEASON 2

“THE BUNKER”

“The Bunker” is inspired by the heart-racing 1993 political documentary The War Room with James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. It follows two scheming and cocky campaign managers working on the heated race for the Governor of Ohio. Lies will be told, death threats will be made, and questionable ’90s fashion choices will surface, all in the camcorder-documented fight to get their underdog candidate to the top.

“JUAN LIKES RICE AND CHICKEN”

Shot in Colombia, Juan Likes Rice and Chicken is a colorful food-centric homage to the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Young chef Arturo and his brother learn hte tricks of the trade from their stern, no-nonense father Juan who runs a highly acclaimed restaurant that only serves one dish made with painstaking precision — chicken and buttered rice. Who wouldn’t travel thousands of miles for the world’s best place of rice?

“GLOBESMEN”

A tribute to the 1968 Maysles documentary Salesman that followed a wearied quartet of door-to-door Bible salesmen, “Globesmen” shares a similar story about four hardworking businessmen trying their best to sell globes to a community of people who find them too expensive and ultimately prefer atlases. Feeling pressure from their regional manager and dealing with the constant rejection from customers, the salesmen do anything they can to reinvent the globe as a need-to-have household item.

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