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I Feel Your Pain, I Feel Your Shame: Showtime Orders Marc Wootton Comedy

Is it just me or is Showtime suddenly really hip?

Besides for Weeds and their amazing comedy pilots United States of Tara and the untitled Edie Falco comedy (all top-notch and likely to earn series stripes any day now), Showtime just scored major points in my book by signing a deal with brilliant British comedian Marc Wootton (My New Best Friend, Nighty Night) for a six-episode comedy series.

Under the deal, Wootton will develop and star in a new alternative comedy series in which he'll interact with everyday folks; rather than order a pilot, the pay cabler has taken the unusual step of giving a blind series commitment to the untitled project. Hell, Showtime entertainment president Bob Greenblatt called Wootton "the new Sasha Baron Cohen," praise indeed.

Anyone who has seen Wootton knows that this is a wise move on Showtime's part. His BBC series, High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman, is one of the most underrated and sadly undiscussed great series of the last five years. (Don't believe me? Take a look back into the Televisionary archives for a review of Shirley Ghostman from two years ago... She knows what I'm talking about.)

It might be a random bit of news that made an Anglophile like myself positively gleeful, but I can't bloody wait to see what Wootton develops. If it's even as half as funny as Shirley Ghostman, we're due for a hilarious, painfully funny comedy series that will have you gasping for air. Showtime execs, pat yourself on the back: you've done well.

In other comedy programming news, Showtime announced that it had renewed sketch comedy series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union for a second season of seven episodes, scheduled to return in 2009.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Ghost Whisperer
(CBS); Most Outrageous Moments/Most Outrageous Moments (NBC); Friday Night SmackDown! (CW; 8-10 pm); 20/20 (ABC); Are We There Yet? (FOX; 8-10 pm)

9 pm: Moonlight (CBS); Dateline NBC (NBC; 9-11 pm); Duel (ABC)

10 pm:
NUMB3RS (CBS); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Sarah Jane Adventures on Sci Fi.

On tonight's episode of the Doctor Who spin-off ("Eye of the Gorgon, Part Two"), Sarah Jane and the kids battle against the Gorgon and her sinister flock of nuns after Maria's father is turned to stone. Afterwards, it's Part One of "Warriors of Kudlak," in which Sarah Jane and Maria investigate the disappearance of a young boy that leads them to link his disappearance and those of several other missing children with a series of storms.

9 pm: Doctor Who on Sci Fi.

Season Four of Doctor Who continues tonight with "The Fires of Pompei," as the Doctor and Donna travel to ancient Rome but find themselves in Pompei just before what the Doctor calls "Volcano Day," also known as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which--you know--wiped out the entire city.

10 pm: Battlestar Galactica on Sci Fi.

On tonight's episode ("The Road Less Traveled"), the crew of the Demetrius--led by wayward warrior Kara Thrace--encounters much tension as they continue to search for Earth, based on Starbuck's fleeting remembrances and visions.


eAi said…
Don't forget Dexter, possibly the best show on TV.
Marc Wootton is hilarious but that picture of him is terrifying! I think even Shirley Ghostman would be scared!

And Showtime is definitely stepping up their game. HBO better watch out.

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