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Half-Dozen Kates Aim to Make ‘Teachers’ Great

Season three of Teachers kicks off on TV Land June 5, offering what has to be the largest clique of comedic Katys (and Katies and Caties) ever assembled on screen. The comedy troupe known, fittingly, as the Katydids, makes up much of the cast and exec producer ranks of Teachers. They are Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Kathryn Renée Thomas.

According to their website, “The Katydids are a six member ensemble whose names all happen to be derived from Katherine.”

Barlow got the group together back in 2008, assembling all the Katys, Caties, etc. she knew for a night of comedy. “We had so much fun,” said Colloton. “It started as a joke.”

An improv sketch team was born, performing around Chicago.

A decade later, they are on board with Teachers, about a half dozen elementary school teachers who don’t quite have their acts together. Having so many women in the writers room gives the show a distinct perspective. “We tell stories from our point of view, which is a little bit different,” said Colloton.

She said the six women have “six really different voices,” some specializing in physical humor and others offering the brainier stuff.

Colloton said her specialty is physical humor, though she’s dabbling a bit more in political comedy. She said Teachers will tackle a handful of meaty topics this season, such as gun control. “It’s definitely a challenge to make that funny,” she said.

Having a show on basic cable, Colloton believes, is too good an opportunity to make a statement to pass up on. “There’s a responsibility to say something with this opportunity,” she said.

Just as school is letting out in much of the country, or has already concluded, early June seems like an odd time to debut Teachers, which leads out of Younger. Colloton raises a valid point: “It’s when teachers are free to watch it.”

The many Katys will be live tweeting during the premiere.