IFC Shows Set for Summer Sun

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Cablevision-owned indie film network IFC will branch into original scripted series this August with three series – HOPELESs PICTURES, The Festival and Greg the Bunny.

The shows, all of which clock in at less than half-hour, are part of the network’s Summer of IFC campaign. The network will bow a new original program each month from May through September. The filmmaking-focused trio is IFC’s first foray into scripted series in its 10-year history, and the first major programming effort from new EVP/GM Evan Shapiro, who took the helm in Jan.

They premiere Aug. 19 in a one-hour unit during the network’s “Film Fanatic Fridays” block.

HOPELESs, from writer/director/producer/actor Bob Balaban, is a ten-episode animated half-hour series about a struggling independent studio. Cast members for the 17-22-minute episodes include Balaban, Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge, Lisa Kudrow, Isaac Mizrahi, Paul Reubens and Nora Ephron.

The Festival (Philms Pictures), is a six-episode satire of a young director’s trip to an indie film festival. Narrated by a fictional IFC documentarian named “Cookie,” the episodes are 22-26 minutes.

Greg the Bunny (Moxie Pictures), is a 12-episode series in which puppets from the cancelled Fox sitcom make 5-12 minute films for IFC, where they started their TV careers as a New Year’s special in 1999. Voices for the characters, including Greg and Warren the Ape, are performed by co-creator Dan Milano.

IFC, which took on a new look and tagline “TV Uncut” earlier this year, also expanded and restructured its original programming department, lumping scripted series into its originals and broadcast events department. VP, Original Series and Events, Debbie DeMontreux will now manage long-and short-form package production, as well as original series and live broadcasts. VP, Documentaries and Features, Alison Bourke will helm fiction and non-fiction features, including six documentaries slated for 2006.

IFC is a division of Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings distributed in 35 million U.S. homes.

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