YTV tackles tween migration to MTV with edgier humour

New live sketch comedy series That's So Weird! from This Hour Has 22 Minutes alum features fauxmercials, mock trailers, PSAs, parodies of hit teen series and a newsmagazine - all intended to prolong tweens' YTV loyalty.

Corus Entertainment’s YTV has just commissioned That’s So Weird!, a new sketch comedy series targeting the footloose tween demo about to bolt to The Hills and The After Show.

‘We’re trying to hold onto the [YTV] audience a little longer, before they go to MTV,’ says showrunner Jeff Copeland.

Copeland says non-traditional kids show writers from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Kids in the Hall and Corner Gas penned the scripts for the 13-episode, hour-long live-action series, so YTV can bring kids and their parents together for family viewing. ‘It’s safe for all ages,’ he adds.

Jocelyn Hamilton, VP of content at YTV parent Corus Kids Television, says commissioning That’s So Weird! is part of an ongoing strategy to deliver Canadian audiences smart, high-quality humour.

The series, now shooting in Toronto ahead of a September 2009 launch, features seven young sketch comedy players who operate their own tiny cable TV network, So Weird TV, in a high school setting.

Each episode feature sketches, a newsmagazine, fauxmercials, mock trailers and PSAs to target eight- to 12 year-olds who are no longer little kids, and not yet teens.

The comedy also parodies existing teen shows with short 90-second spoofs that include Depressi High, Are You Smarter Than Darth Vader? and Really Smallville.

Halifax Film will also shoot fresh episodes for the series’ web-based component, which aims to extend the appeal of the TV show.

Decode International will handle worldwide sales.

From Playback Daily