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Comedy Gets Sketchy

Sketch comedies and animation are front and center in Comedy Central’s new development slate unveiled last week.

The five new pilots the network has green lit for production are: Night Writer, from former Saturday Night Live headwriter T. Sean Shannon, which features live-action sketches and voice-over stills centering on a show writer in the midst of penning the project with events occurring in real-time; Held Up, a half-hour show in which a bored bank teller is held hostage by two teams of crazy robbers; an as-yet-untitled animated project starring Larry the Cable Guy, as a misguided but well-intentioned cable-TV-station co-owner; Root of All Evil, in which two people or topics are debated in a courtroom setting presided over by Lewis Black (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart); and Michael Ian Black Doesn’t Understand, a sketch show that will feature commentary and studio pieces around a “hot-button” topic of the week.

Comedy Central officials have also afforded presentation deals to a trio of urban/ethnic projects: David Allen Grier’s Chocolate News, a fictional magazine show that covers urban pop-culture topics; The JoKoy Project, animated, sketch and stand-up from a racially diverse ensemble cast; and The Watch List, a sketch/variety show shining the spotlight on some of the funniest up-and-coming Middle Eastern-American comedians.

“We’ve secured a strong, versatile slate of new projects that we feel will resonate with our core viewers,” executive vice president of original programming and development Lauren Corrao said in a statement. “We’ve been on a great run and are looking to continue our success with more original, creative and provocative programming in the coming year.”