Comedy Central is teaming up with The Onion for the tentatively-titled The Onion Sports Network, a new comedy series based on the fake newspaper’s sports coverage. According to the press release, the 10-episode series is set to debut in the first quarter of 2011 and will “take on the whole universe of modern sports – teams, players, leagues, sycophantic fans, ridiculous products and over-hyped coverage – with an eye towards appealing to sports fanatics and more casual fans, as well as long-time followers of The Onion and The Onion News Network.” It’s a concept that seems so obvious you wonder why no one’s done it before, especially when 24-hour sports networks struggle to fill their airtime. I guess you just can’t underestimate that 27th daily airing of Sportscenter.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
COMEDY CENTRALAND THE ONION JOIN FORCES
ON ORIGINAL SCRIPTED SERIES BASED ON THE ONION SPORTS NETWORK
10 Episode Scripted Series Set To Premiere 1Q 2011
NEW YORK, April 14, 2010 — Sports coverage is finally about to get some integrity. COMEDY CENTRAL has picked-up the Onion Sports Network pilot and placed a 10-episode series order for “The Onion Sports Network” (working title), it was announced today by Kent Alterman, head of original programming and production, COMEDY CENTRAL. The scripted series from The Onion, based on its popular Onion Sports Network online video series, is set to premiere 1Q 2011.
“The Onion has such credibility in the comedy world, we feel fortunate to partner with them,” said Alterman. “They will skewer the sports world, and the media coverage of sports, with the same sharpness we’ve seen applied to the world of politics and popular culture.”
“The Onion Sports Network teaming up with COMEDY CENTRAL?,” said Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion. “If I were ESPN, I’d consider a whole new line of work.”
The untitled series will take on the whole universe of modern sports – teams, players, leagues, sycophantic fans, ridiculous products and over-hyped coverage – with an eye towards appealing to sports fanatics and more casual fans, as well as long-time followers of The Onion and The Onion News Network.
Executive produced by Julie Smith and Will Graham, the half-hour scripted comedy takes its cue from The Onion Sports Network video content which authentically replicates the flashy look, breathless pace and general insanity of modern sports coverage. Lisa Leingang is the executive in charge of production for COMEDY CENTRAL.
“With only 57 cable channels devoted to talking about sports, we felt that the sports world wasn’t getting the attention it deserved,” said Graham. Smith added, “‘The Onion Sports Network’ will be the most intense televised sports news program in recorded human history.”
The Onion, “America’s Finest News Source” and the Peabody(r) Award-winning Onion News Network reaches 7 billion viewers in 11 different continents, as well as more than 115 million prison cells worldwide, and is viewable online at www.theonion.com and www.onionnewsnetwork.com. The Onion is represented by United Talent Agency.
COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 98 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered trademark of, Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of Viacom Inc.’s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL’s Internet address is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs visit Press Central, COMEDY CENTRAL’s press Web site at www.comedycentral.com/press.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.