When it comes to high quality television, most of us look toward major networks like FOX, ABC, NBC, the CW, and CBS. For so-called “prestige” shows, we extend out into the cable universe with FX, AMC, and HBO. Residing somewhere right around the middle tier of television are Turner Entertainment’s two properties, TNT and TBS, networks that have traditionally provided us with lineups that are the definition of “average.” Each tier of television serves its unique purpose, and for the most part, they don’t venture far outside their borders. Soon though, TBS will look to take a massive step forward.
2016 will mark the launch of a whole stable of new comedies for TBS, a large majority of which come straight from some of the most brilliant creative minds in the industry. Having eschewed their normal strategy of green-lighting safe, yet forgettable shows, the network came under new leadership in 2015. The whole operation is now run by Kevin Reilly, an executive who’s made it his mission to overhaul both TNT and TBS. For the latter, we have a lineup of comedies on the horizon that we can’t help but be excited for.
1. Angie Tribeca
Watching the promos, it’s easy to dismiss Angie Tribeca as your classic, run-of-the-mill cop drama. What it actually is though, is a biting commentary on the sameness that’s become rampant within the genre. Executive producers Steve and Nancy Carell are the masterminds behind the curtain, with TBS set to roll out the entire first season at once, in the form of a commercial-free 25-hour marathon this January. It’s obvious right off the bat that this won’t be like any show you’ve ever seen, especially if its method of delivery is any indicator of just how weird it’ll be.
2. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Late night talk shows are dominated by male hosts. And by “dominated,” we mean “literally every major late night show is hosted by a male.” Former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee will finally step in as the combo breaker, taking her biting sense of humor and considerable feel for news-centric storytelling to TBS for her very own show. Full Frontal debuts in February, and it can’t get here soon enough.
3. People of Earth
People of Earth was just recently given the green light from TBS, and already we have our first taste of Wyatt Cenac’s alien abduction comedy in the form of a 90-second trailer. Cenac, himself a Daily Show alumnus, stars in the show as a reporter interviewing people who all claim to have been temporarily kidnapped by aliens. As the trailer tells us, it’s not long before Cenac realizes that he too was abducted, as his hazy memories slowly return to him. We have no official premiere date yet, but we imagine we’ll see it hit the airwaves at some point in 2016.
Imagine what Lost would be if it were a comedy (assuming you don’t already think of it that way), and that’s essentially what TBS’s Wrecked is. A group of plane crash survivors find themselves stranded on a desert island, and together they’re forced to fend for themselves in a place without the modern amenities they’ve become so accustomed to. More accurately, it’s really more the love child of Lost and Gilligan’s Island than anything, and if that doesn’t pique your interest, we don’t know what will.
5. Search Party
Starring Alia Shawcat of Arrested Development fame, Search Party is a show that goes down a decidedly darker comedic path. Its main character feels as though she has nothing in her life and, as a result, takes a special interest in what seems to be a random missing persons case. With Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) at the helm as writer, director, and producer, we have yet another example of TBS bringing a brilliant creative talent into the fold.
6. The Detour
It’s about to be a huge year for Samantha Bee, as the co-showrunner of The Detour, teaming up with husband and fellow Daily Show reporter Jason Jones. Jones stars in the main role, as a lifelong professional looking to take his family on a roadtrip from New York down to Florida. And before you ask, Deadline already answers the question we imagine is already forming in your head: “The movie Vacation stretched over several episodes? Executive producer and star Jason Jones says that’s exactly what his TBS comedy series The Detour is not.”
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