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Comedy Central Sticks to Scripted

Jul 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Comedy Central has ordered a pilot for a live-action half-hour comedy series called “Highway to Oblivion,” which Bob Odenkirk will direct.
Howard Kremer and Chip Pope, who starred in former MTV slacker series “Austin Stories,” will co-executive produce and star in the project about a no-talent Hollywood wannabe and the likable loser he befriends.
The pilot marks one of several attempts Comedy Central has made in recent years to mount original, scripted live-action series. While the cable network has struggled in the ratings game with such live-action fare as “Strangers With Candy” and “That’s My Bush,” it has found success with animated shows such as “South Park” and the recent entry “Crank Yankers.” Unscripted live-action entries “Insomniac With Dave Attell” and “Trigger Happy TV” also have performed well, as have sketch show “Chappelle’s Show,” starring Dave Chappelle, and flagship news spoof “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
The network is soliciting live-action scripted concepts that are decidedly different from the three-camera sitcoms that are typical of network prime time, sources said. Comedy Central declined to comment.
“Highway to Oblivion” indeed is conceived as a unique project.
“Mr. Show” and “The Ben Stiller Show” alumnus Mr. Odenkirk, who is represented by Endeavor and managed by Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, is expected to put a unique stamp on the pilot.
Mr. Kremer, who along with Mr. Pope is represented by ICM and managed by Principato-Young Management, portrays a character who dreams of becoming the next big thing in Hollywood but has virtually no talent.
Mr. Pope’s character is the loser who befriends him and who marries a European woman so she can get her green card. He and his wife live in separate apartments next door to each other.
The stories of Mr. Kremer’s near-famous encounters are to be told in the vein of “E! True Hollywood Stories,” with documentary-style re-creations.
Mr. Odenkirk, Mr. Kremer and Mr. Pope collaborated once before, on a pilot for HBO a couple of years ago called “The Near Future.”