While their broadcast counterparts shuffle (and surreptitiously discard) the deck chairs in preparation for their own upfront presentations, cable networks have spent the past month quietly showing advertisers their upcoming wares. Prior to wowing all of the hottest #brands with its plans for a 40-episode fourth season of Comedy Bang! Bang! (and a more conservative second-season order for The Birthday Boys), IFC announced its slate of new programming, which further emphasizes its split from the network’s independent-film roots—though not indie film’s habit of putting the word “American” in the title.
Patriotic, flag-waving viewers can thus look forward to American Documentary and American Storage, comedies that know the heartbeat of America still pounds like the pistons beneath the hood of a Chevy (and also acknowledge that what a show is called at upfronts isn’t necessarily what it’ll be called when it comes to air). From creators and Saturday Night Live alumni Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader, American Documentary will put our country back to work in the service of fabricating documentaries and biopics on fictional subjects, with the help of SNL director Rhys Thomas, he of such proudly red-white-and-blue shorts as “Lincoln” and “British Movie.” (Red, white, and blue are still the colors of the Union Jack, after all.) American Storage, meanwhile, finds Rob Huebel—much like the recent history of the proud nation he calls home—hitting a bit of a rough patch, though, like America, he still has enough can-do spirit and faith in himself to tell someone else (John Karna) how to live their life.
Though they’re less explicitly festooned with bald-eagle imagery, IFC is also developing separate series from Community’s Joel McHale and former Office producer Teri Weinberg. Westside and The Bank will follow casts of characters who make their living by unorthodox means (in Westside, that means crime; in The Bank, that means storing human ejaculate)—both of which sound too much like critiques of capitalism for the new “these colors don’t run” IFC, the initials of which now pretty much stand for “Independent From Commies.”