LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Comedy Central is banking on a massive original slate for 2005 as the network has confirmed most of its plans for the year ahead.
Already on tap this month is a new season of "Crank Yankers" (Wednesday, January 12 at 9:00/8:00c) as well as the launch of the new game show "Distraction" (Tuesday, January 18 at 10:30/9:30c). The cable channel also plans to rebroadcast the Showtime special "George Lopez: Why You Crying?" on Sunday, January 30 (time TBA).
February sees the ninth season debut of its Friday night stand-up series "Comedy Central Presents" (February 18) not to mention rebroadcasts of the short-lived Showtime series "Jamie Foxx's Laffapalooza" (Sunday, February 20).
Then in March look for the premiere of season nine of "South Park" (Wednesday, March 9 at 10:00/9:00c) as well as the latest "The Comedy Central Roast" featuring Jeff Foxworthy on Sunday, March 20 (time TBA).
Next up in April is the limited series premiere of "The Hollow Men" on Thursday, April 7 (time TBA) featuring the popular U.K. comedy group of the same name. Also due in April is "Con," which stars comedian Skyler Stone ("Stuck on You") as he cons his way through life, pulling off elaborate stunts for his own benefit. The network recently gave the series an eight-episode order with Stone, Rick de Olivera, Matt Sloan, Chris Cox, Chris Bender and JC Spink executive producing.
In May, look for the one-hour stand-up special "D.L. Hughley: Shocked and Appalled" (Sunday, May 15) as the potential precursor to Hughley's late-night talk show for the network.
This summer then sees the launch of "Stella," from the "Wet Hot American Summer" team of Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and David Wain. The trio will write, star and executive produce the series (which is based on their popular stage show), about three unemployed guys thrown into absurd situations. 10 episodes of "Stella" were recently commissioned by the cable channel.
Also on due in 2005 are new seasons of "Reno 911," "Drawn Together" and "Chappelle's Show."
In addition, several movies will make their network premieres this year including "Out Cold" (Sunday, January 9), "Death To Smoochy" (Sunday, January 16), "Blue Collar Comedy Tour: Rides Again" (Sunday, February 13), "Juwanna Mann" (Sunday, March 13) and "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (Sunday, April 3).
And that's just the beginning. Nearly a dozen projects are also in the works for potential 2005 bows (read the story) featuring such talent as Jamie Kennedy, Norm Macdonald, Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Adam Carolla and Tom Hanks. Of said group, only "The Hollywood Show" has been confirmed as not making the cut so far.