True to its commitment to be “always on, slightly off,” IFC held an unconventional version of an upfronts event today, but it didn’t lack for star power and news. At an intimate luncheon in New York, Seth Meyers made the most exciting announcements (for Indiewire readers, at least): what documentaries he, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader will be parodying in Season 2 of their original comedy series, “Documentary Now!”
During the first season, the series did one-off episodes in the style of “Grey Gardens,” “Nanook of the North” and VICE. This year, there’s one repeat filmmaker in the mix.
Announced episodes include “Globesman,” a riff on the 1969 Albert and David Maysles film “Salesman,” as well “Juan Likes Chicken and Rice,” which will mimic David Gelb’s “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” “Juan” is entirely in Spanish, and Meyers wanted us to know that a scorpion did bite their production designer while filming in Colombia, and he had to be taken to a hospital.
“She’s fine now, but in this post-‘Revenant’ era, I figured it was important for you to know how we risked our lives,” Meyers said.
Meyers seemed happy with the experience of working with IFC. “They have been so great for us, mostly just staying out of the way creatively, which is all you could ever ask for from a network. And we have repaid them by giving them so much that is impossible to market… This year we’re giving them marketing gold, such as a black and white documentary [and] one that’s entirely in Spanish. This is what happens when you give creative license to your show creators.”
Also, appropriately enough for an election year, “Documentary Now!” will take on Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s “The War Room” with “Bunker.” “Fred and Bill are definitely our James Carville and George Stephanopoulos,” Meyers said.
Season 2 of “Documentary Now!” will premiere this fall. Most importantly of all — Helen Mirren will also be back to host.
Other shows previewed by IFC today include:
• “Brockmire,” based on a digital series, which stars Hank Azaria as a baseball announcer who has a total breakdown. (Check out an episode below.)
• “Stan Against Evil,” an original zombie comedy created by comedy legend Dana Gould and starring John C. McGinley, with make-up effects by “The Walking Dead” guru Greg Nicotero.
• “Todd Barth Can Help You,” produced by Bryan Cranston, which tracks an aspiring self-help guru. “Steven Weber is attached to star, and Tony Robbins is attached to litigate,” IFC’s Blake Callaway quipped in the presentation.
• “This Land is Ours,” which features a group of anarchist squatters taking over a brownstone in Manhattan. Created by the team behind “Getting On,” with “Catastrophe” creator Sharon Horgan producing.
Coming soon is Season 4 of “Maron” on May 4, which takes the series down a darker path as (the fictional) Mark relapses into drug use, and Season 5 of “Comedy Bang Bang,” with new co-host Weird Al Yankovic.
For more documentary fun…