Comedy Central Goes Broadband

Comedy Central is set to launch its first broadband-optimized video channel on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Dubbed “Comedy Central MotherLoad,” the new outlet will feature five distinct channels offering new original series such as the animated Odd Todd and Shadow Rock, as well as vintage content from such shows as Robert Smigel’s TV Funhouse, Strangers with Candy and Viva Variety.

Hosted by comedian Greg Giraldo (Friday Night with Greg Giraldo, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn), MotherLoad will offer more than 450 video clips from Comedy Central shows, including never-before-seen videos and exclusive online extras. The video library will add between 50-80 new clips per week, and each weekday Giraldo will give a minute-long round-up of what’s new on the channel.

"Comedy today does not just live as a 22-minute television show,” says Lou Wallach, senior VP of original programming and development for Comedy Central. “We’ve developed and produced programming exclusively for this digital platform and are looking forward to premiering original content on ‘MotherLoad’.”

Motherload will feature 11 episodes of Odd Todd, an animated web series that built a dedicated cult following before being picked up by the network. Created by Todd Rosenberg, the series focuses on a jobless New Yorker’s comic takes on being out of work and spending way too much time at home. A special Halloween episode will serve as the show’s Comedy Central kick-off.

Rosenberg, a former business development guy who took advantage of his unemployment to pursue his dream of becoming a cartoonist, serves as exec producer on the toon series, along with David Stern (Oliver Beene, Monk). Rosenberg’s web site, www.oddtodd.com, previously spawned a book, The Odd Todd Handbook: Hard Times, Soft Couch, which was published by Warner Books last year.

Comedy Central Motherload has also committed to air 8 episodes of Shadow Rock, described as a dark and twisted cartoon from the mind of Max Cannon, the artist behind Red Meat, a popular cult comic strip featured every week in The Onion.

Other original programs include Comedy Central’s short-film showcase Jump Cuts, a spoof of VH1 shows called I Love the Thirties and a hidden camera show titled Meet the Creeps, created by Crank Yankers contributor Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson.

Other animated and live-action original projects are in development for MotherLoad, which will offer a variety of screen size options ranging from “mini” to “full screen.” The channel’s launch will be sponsored by Verizon.