Syfy, you old son of a bitch. Here I thought you were dedicated to revitalizing your brand and intent on bringing only mid-to-top quality material to future audiences. Now you go and climb into the metaphorical bed with Nick Cannon and that all came crashing down to—name a location!–Earth. Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment will work with the network to develope an as-yet-untitled sci-fi/fantasy improv series. Because if there’s anything hardcore geeks want to get excited about, it’s Whose Line is it Anyway, Zaphod?
Cannon and collaborator Michael Goldman will executive produce the series, which will be an hour-long weekly contest taped before a live studio audience. The premise involves a “home team” of 4-6 “national comedians” taking on a different amateur improv team each week. The challenges, naturally, will be different unscripted games, and we’re assuming that help from the studio audience will be needed. So, there’s time travel, dragons, space, fairies, and aliens. That’s about as hard as I think this show’s studio audience will put its collective brain to work.
Casting will begin for the “away team” this summer. Since it’s improv, you might be scouted just about anywhere you go. If you’re standing in a Subway in L.A. and you audibly change your mind about putting onions on your sandwich, that might be good enough to make it on this series.
I probably sound like a judgmental asshat talking about this, and that’s because I think it’s a stupid idea. I mean, it might be fine if Matt Besser and some super-talented Upright Citizens Brigade alumni were involved, but I don’t have faith that will happen. Nick Cannon’s stand-up comedy is hit or miss for me, though I was a big fan of his Cartoon Network series Incredible Crew. For a kid’s show, there were a lot of strange ideas floating around in those sketches. Such as this…
But Cannon himself is more prone to doing things like the prank seen in the video below, where he performed on America’s Got Talent by appearing on the show as a terrible, potentially threatening mime. Not the most killer material. If someone can figure out an equation that proves a fake mime is funnier than a real mime, I’ll take a look.
Universal Cable Productions is behind this, balancing the good they’ve done in bringing promising series like Ascension to the network. They also announced a TV series project between Warren Ellis and mega-producer Gale Anne Hurd. Now that’s something I’ll get excited about.