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IFC Plans Originals Slate

IFC is expanding its original-series slate both on TV and online, developing a half-hour comedy with Chris Kattan and programming a month of Web-only shows.

The channel, one of Cablevision's Rainbow Entertainment networks, is at work on Bollywood Hero, an eight-episode comedy starring the former Saturday Night Live star as an actor who tries to make it in Indian film when he can't get gigs as a leading man in Hollywood.

IFC plans to premiere the show, from Snackaholic (Bravo's Welcome to the Parker), in the summer of 2008. It joins a previously announced slate of shows in development for next summer, including scripted dramas Pornopolis and Bad Habits and scripted comedies Z02 and Elevated, the latter from The Daily Show's Jason Reich.

The independent film channel is increasing its scripted originals after having had success with last summer's The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman and The Business. They both return in August.

Bollywood fits the network's mandate to program “independently spirited shows,” says Debbie DeMontreux, who is being promoted from VP to senior VP of original programming for IFC.

The network also prides itself on boundary-pushing fare, says General Manager Evan Shapiro: “Cable does what broadcast can't. IFC does what cable can't.”

The cable channel, which is not yet rated by Nielsen, is also beefing up its programming online. During May, it will premiere its first Web-only series, Getting Away With Murder, as part of “Dot Com Month,” a month of new Internet programming.