Why This Matters: Networks have to get creative to help a new series stand out these days.
Studio C, The Sketch comedy series from BYUtv, starts its ninth season on Sept. 10. The cast warmed up with a special Studio C—Live from NYC event Aug. 24, which saw Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live host at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
“It was a great experience,” said Michael Dunn, managing director of parent BYUtv, noting an extraordinary amount of energy buzzing around the ballroom. The show normally shoots in Provo, Utah. Its “rabid, loyal fans” sit in lawn chairs outside the studio, waiting to score tickets, Dunn said.
BYUtv has 14 original series, including comedies, dramas, game shows and reality. It is available in 50 million homes. The network is owned by Brigham Young University, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As such, the series are “family appropriate,” Dunn said.
The Studio C cast includes Matt Meese, Aaron Fielding and Natalie Madsen. “People know they can trust our shows,” Dunn said. “There is no lunge factor,” when offended viewers lunge for the remote. Studio C is a hit on YouTube too. Its 1,967,000 subscribers go well beyond the Mormon community.
“No matter the faith or persuasion, or lack of faith, viewers just find the comedy,” Dunn said.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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