Some big names in comedy are behind a pair of new series coming to IFC.
Will Ferrell and his long-time collaborator Adam McKay are executive producing “The Spoils of Babylon,” a six-episode series due for release late this year. Ben Stiller and Bob Odenkirk, meanwhile, are behind “The Birthday Boys,” a sketch show starring the comedy troupe of the same name. It will also debut later in 2013.
“The Spoils of Babylon” is “a crazy and maybe even a stupid idea,” Ferrell says in a statement. “IFC is either really courageous or really stupid, which makes them the perfect partner for us.”
“Babylon,” written by former “Saturday Night Live” writers Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele, is a send-up of old-school miniseries like “The Thorn Birds.” It purports to be an adaptation of a novel (Ferrell will play the author) that spans multiple generations of a family that got rich in the oil business.
“The Birthday Boys” is a sketch show that Stiller and Odenkirk — who worked together on “The Ben Stiller Show” in the early ’90s — are executive producing. Odenkirk will also appear in the episodes along with the members of the group, who have a monthly show at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles.
“The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos,” Stiller says. “They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of ‘Portlandia.’ I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so.”
Here’s a taste of the Birthday Boys, with Abby Elliott helping out: