Fox Television Studios (FtvS) recently announced the first project to come out of its top-secret “think-tank:” a new comedy web series called The Skinny: Fat-Free News starring comedians Natasha Leggero (MTV’s The 70s House) and Nadine Rajabi (National Lampoon Radio). The Skinny is a satirical “news” show reporting straight from the front lines of pop culture. The show’s sassy (and sexy) comics-turned-correspondents provide their unique takes on slightly absurd (but completely real) news stories—taking them from bar mitzvahs to convalescent homes in search for the truth.
FtvS has been quietly cultivating a forum developed for up-and-coming writers, producers, and on-camera talent to pitch new projects—a throwback to the original Hollywood studios that mandated the pursuit and nurturing of promising new talent. The studio describes the FtvS think-tank as a “souped-up round-table, and a safe haven for all kinds of ideas—from comedy to drama, from reality to the surreal.” The Skinny marks the evolution of the studio’s digital brand “15 Gigs.”
Executive-produced by Mike Gibbons (FOX’s Talkshow with Spike Feresten), The Skinny is shot on location and via field remotes, where hosts Rajabi (who developed the original idea) and Leggero offer Hollywood-infused perspectives on current events, trends and news of the day.
Gibbons tells us that the show “is all about the content, with very little dressing it up.” Achieving recent mastery of short form online content (see viral hits Cable PSA and Lil’ Bill O’Reilly) Gibbons has made sure to keep The Skinny episodes down to a slim two-to-three minutes. “In variety and late night it’s as much about the internet as it is about TV. People don’t want SNL, they want clips of SNL’s best sketches. TV is learning from the web, which has become a more democratic way to discover what is funny and what audiences are responding to.” Gibbons expressed his enthusiasm for the creative freedom web television allows—but, he warns, “even though it is the internet, it’s getting more corporate, so everyone should have fun before all the TV pantsuits and lawyers ruin it.”
The Skinny was able to snag a few deals with distribution partners. Jason Kirk, Vice President of MySpaceTV, told us that he’s “happy to have The Skinny join our growing list of licensed content partnerships.” Along with Hulu, MySpaceTV gets to run episodes for a week before wide distribution on other channels Dailymotion, Blip, Metacafe, YouTube, facebook, and Funny Or Die.
Chock-full of sass, the irreverent 13-episode series releases new eps every Thursday on MySpaceTV and Hulu and the following Wednesdays on syndicated sites. Be on the lookout for new episodes lampooning parking lot petitioners, the current worldwide rice shortage, and extra-marital affair agency Ashley Madison.