It's Official: TBS to air Late Night Buffet

Phillip

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TBS invites audience to 'Late Night'

TBS is looking to jump into the same late-night pool as Adult Swim.

The Time Warner-owned cable network is following its corporate cousin, Cartoon Network, into post-11 p.m. original programming. The channel already has ordered a half-hour pilot, "Late Night Buffet," from the Jim Henson Co. that would stage a talk show entirely with puppets -- except for the human celebrity guests.

"It's a different way to approach the late-night talk show," TBS and TNT senior vp original programming Michael Wright said. "It takes the Henson brand's intelligence and warmth and mixes it with a little wickedness and fun."

But unlike Adult Swim, which carries an entirely different audience than its Cartoon Net foundation, TBS will build on the female-skewing audience coming to its primetime fare, including "Sex and the City."

TBS plans to put as many as seven scripted projects in development, mostly of the sketch comedy/improvised variety, with an eye on ordering several pilots. At least one pilot will be launched as a series sometime next year in anticipation of building a branded block like Adult Swim from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. TBS typically runs movies then.

TBS, however, isn't looking to segregate the untitled block as a separate ratings entity as Cartoon Net did with Adult Swim.

Henson Co. co-chair and co-CEO Brian Henson will do the puppetry for "Buffet" with Bill Barretta. The show will not feature Muppets like Kermit the Frog but rather newer puppets. The host and sidekick will be puppet characters Augustus Pfiffle and Delbert Kastle. Even the band will be puppets, consisting of character Gina Cappellini and her pet monkeys.

"It's a talk show where we improvise as we go," Henson said. "This is the kind of character-driven work we enjoy doing."

More cable networks are programming with originals in late-night as hits like Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" find traction with a young-adult audience that tends to watch outside traditional primetime hours.

But while Comedy Central and Adult Swim tend to cater to male-skewing audiences, TBS will try to lean toward the other gender -- but not to the exclusion of males, either. It's what Wright calls the "date movie" demographic.

"She turns it on, but he watches it with her," Wright said.

Lifetime already has gotten a head start, launching scripted comedy "Lovespring International" last week for 11 p.m. Mondays.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/television/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002651601
 

Erine81981

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Same here. I'll watch it when it airs. Can't wait.
 

Ilikemuppets

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I think Bryan and Bill have such a natural chemistry together. There really a laugh riot.
 

Buck-Beaver

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I think the thread's title is a little misleading. I haven't read anything suggesting this is greenlighted yet. While obviously a pilot is being shot, it's a pilot. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this series, but TBS may or may not pick it up.
 

JoeyMuppet

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At first t.v. didn't pick up on the pilot Tales of Tinkerdee.I just recently saw that pilot.I hope this new one picks up.
 

GelflingWaldo

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Frogster said:
When will this show start airing?
TBS says they want to launch their late-night line-up sometime next year (2007). If TBS likes the pilot and the show does get picked up, then it we'll see it sometime around then.

One way to help the show get picked-up is to call/write/e-mail TBS and tell them that you've head about this new show and would be interested in watching it. That can help assure them that there are people out there willing to tune in to see such a show.
 
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