Yahoo Inc. today rolled out the next phase of shows from its previously announced slate of original comedies. Viewers of the Comedy Channel on Yahoo Screen can now watch this additional programming from top talent as well as get a better sense of what Yahoo has planned for its television alternative across the board.
Marketers will be able to buy ad spots across the entire slate of shows and align themselves with the channel in other ways. According to a comScore Custom Report, 20 of the top 25 most-watched web series were on Yahoo in December 2011, which Yahoo said means more Americans watched Yahoo Studios video programs than videos on Hulu.com for the thirteenth straight month in a row.
Hoping to join these is Sketchy, from Electus/Principato-Young Entertainment, which debuts today.
“Yahoo’s continued efforts to push forward the creativity and originality of premium online content elevates the entire digital entertainment space,” said Drew Buckley, chief operating officer and head of Digital for Electus. “We are incredibly proud to launch our new comedy show Sketchy with Yahoo as they are at the forefront of original programming on the Web.”
Two other shows have now moved into their new online home with Yahoo: 7 Minutes in Heaven, starring Saturday Night Live writer Mike O’Brien, and First Dates with Toby Harris, featuring Seth Morris.
From Broadway Video, 7 Minutes in Heaven starts its second season of weekly interviews that O’Brien conducts inside of a closet. Some of the celebrities who have participated are Ellen DeGeneres, Elijah Wood (pictured, left, with O’Brien, right, wearing neckties as headbands), Andy Samberg, Christina Ricci and Insane Clown Posse.
From Funny or Die, First Dates with Toby Harris stars Seth Morris as Toby Harris, a single guy and his ill-fated adventures in the Los Angeles dating world. Each weekly episode features a different woman, different issues, and differing viewpoints of why it all went wrong. The show was created and directed by Elliot Dickerhoof, and produced by Anna Wenger.
“We are excited to showcase First Dates on the Yahoo Comedy Channel,” said Dick Glover, CEO of Funny Or Die. “It’s a great series that will resonate well with the Yahoo audience, and Seth particularly loves the idea of continuing with the series until he, or rather Toby Harris, succeeds in getting to a second date.”
Morris added, “That would be nice, but until that day comes, it is fortunate for Toby – and yes, let’s face it, for me too – that there are many single girls in Los Angeles.”
On March 19, Yahoo will be adding Hackerazzi, from director David Morgasen. Known for previous spoof videos like David Blaine Street Magic and Obama-McCain Dance-off, the weekly show Hackerazzi uses digital manipulation to create video clips purporting to show embarrassing moments of celebrities caught in a candid moment.
Burning Love from Paramount Pictures/Red Hour is scheduled the debut in the spring. The scripted comedy follows a fireman as he pursues true love through the unlikely avenue of a reality dating show. The show features Ken Marino as fireman Mark Orlando, along with Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Michael Ian Black, Ken Jeong, Adam Scott, Abigail Spencer, Natasha Leggero, Ryan Hansen, June Diane Raphael, Noureen DeWulf, Kerri Kenney, Beth Dover and others.
These have been packaged into a Comedy Channel destination together with existing Yahoo Studios original Odd News, the already popular weekly wrap-up of global strangeness hosted and commented on by comedian Greg Proops.
“Yahoo is already the leader in original storytelling online, with nine out of the top ten shows on the web and provocative, groundbreaking projects like Tom Hanks’ Electric City,” said Mickie Rosen, senior vice president, Yahoo Media Network. “Following the success we saw with our slate of programming for women, we’re excited to work with comedy powerhouses like Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Paramount Pictures/Red Hour, Electus/Principato Young Entertainment, David Morgasen and others to continue innovating on our slate programming approach.”