Yesterday, with restrained, almost desperate presentations. Later that evening, Adult Swim capped its upfront by providing an open bar and endless hors d’oevres to a packed Roseland Ballroom that watched Jay-Z perform for an hour. After a week where the networks produced very little flash, it was another example of what Adult Swim does best: counter-programming.
Of course, Adult Swim might have gotten Jay-Z at a discount: this week Hova announced a development deal with Cartoon Network’s late-night programming branch, with talk of an original animated series. The cable channel is also developing projects with Odd Future and “Community” creator Dan Harmon, but what I’m most excited for is “China, IL” based on The Professor Brothers web series from the brilliant Brad Neely. The description:
Frank and Steve Smith are brothers who teach in the history department of a state university in China, Illinois. They also happen to be legends in their own minds who will often sacrifice facts, lessons and syllabi for the sake of being awesome. [Deadline]
I can’t wait for this. I’ve seen “Bible History” at least twenty times, and I still laugh every time I watch it.
Anyway, I’m not all up on Adult Swim’s jock just because they plied me with free booze (although, short of high-class hookers, that is the fastest way to my heart) — I’m too old and I don’t smoke enough pot to enjoy a lot of their shows. But as more channels cut creative corners by turning to reality shows and derivative procedurals, Adult Swim keeps making original, weird, and authentically cool shows. As one producer told me last night, “Adult Swim is what MTV used to be.”