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Yahoo! Makes Comedy Serious Business With Premiere of New Comedy Channel Shows Featuring Seth Morris, Mike O’Brien, Ken Marino and More

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*Yahoo! Screen now home to new slate of premium original comedy Web shows*

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Yahoo! Inc., the premier digital media company, today debuts a variety of original comedy Web shows from a collaborative effort between Yahoo! and top-tier production partners. The new shows include “First Dates With Toby Harris” featuring Seth Morris (Funny or Die); “Sketchy” ( Electus/Principato-Young Entertainment ), and “7 Minutes in Heaven” with “Saturday Night Live”writerMike O’Brien (Broadway Video). The slate of comedy shows also includes an existing Yahoo! Studios original show, “Odd News,” Yahoo! News’ weekly wrap-up on the strangest stories from around the globe, hosted by comedian Greg Proops. All the new comedy shows will live on Yahoo! Screen (http://screen.yahoo.com), Yahoo!’s new online video destination.

In the coming weeks, Yahoo! will debut additional comedy shows including “Hackerazzi” ( David Morgasen ) and “Burning Love” (Paramount Pictures/Red Hour), which features an impressive lineup of celebrity talent and spoofs popular reality television dating shows.

Yahoo! Screen. Image credit: Yahoo!

With more than one billion streams to date of original comedy programming, Yahoo! is already the top online destination for comedy. The comedy channel on Yahoo! Screen was officially launched with the live broadcast of “CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live From Silicon Valley,” the first free online stand-up comedy broadcast. The Yahoo! Comedy Channel also features licensed content from top comedy content creators.

“Yahoo! is already the leader in original storytelling online, with nine out of the top ten shows on the web and provocative, groundbreaking projects like Tom Hanks’ ‘Electric City,'” said Mickie Rosen, SVP Yahoo! Media Network. “Following the success we saw with our slate of programming for women, we’re excited to work with comedy powerhouses like Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Paramount Pictures/Red Hour, Electus/Principato Young Entertainment, David Morgasen and others to continue innovating on our slate programming approach.”

“Yahoo!’s continued efforts to push forward the creativity and originality of premium online content elevates the entire digital entertainment space,” said Drew Buckley, COO and head of Digital for Electus. “We are incredibly proud to launch our new comedy show ‘Sketchy’ with Yahoo! as they are at the forefront of original programming on the Web.”

“We are excited to showcase “First Dates” on the Yahoo! Comedy Channel,” said Dick Glover, CEO of Funny Or Die. “It’s a great series that will resonate well with the Yahoo! audience, and Seth particularly loves the idea of continuing with the series until he, or rather Toby Harris, succeeds in getting to a ‘second’ date.”

“Yes, that would be nice, but until that day comes, it is fortunate for Toby (and yes, let’s face it, for me too), that there are many single girls in Los Angeles,” said Seth Morris, star of “First Dates With Toby Harris.”

Re-Imagined Creative Canvas for Advertisers

Similar to the successful female-targeted slate of programming Yahoo! debuted in October 2011, the Yahoo! Comedy Channel offers marketers a significant opportunity to align their brand with premium content and a “Share of Voice” opportunity to buy against the entire slate of shows.

Yahoo!’s consumer insights inform the content creation process to help ensure delivery of high-quality, premium digital video experiences to the right audiences at meaningful scale.

The Yahoo! Comedy Channel already has top-tier brands signed on as advertisers for the launch of the slate.

Yahoo!’s Success With Original Video

Consumer insights indicate that the desire for premium digital video is greater than ever before. Yahoo! is in the strongest position to capitalize on this growing market trend, with the most viewed portfolio of original programming online. Yahoo!’s original programs reel in more viewers than many other websites combined.

  • Yahoo! original video programming attracted over 35 million unique visitors in December 2011. More Americans watched Yahoo! Studios video programs than videos on Hulu.com for the thirteenth straight month in a row.
  • Yahoo! had 20 of the top 25 most watched online Web series in December 2011 (comScore Custom Report).
  • Yahoo! Studios produces up to 30 original programs each month.

Yahoo!’s New Slate of Comedy Shows and Talent

Funny or Die presents “First Dates With Toby Harris” (Funny or Die) http://screen.yahoo.com/firstdates

Starring Seth Morris, created and directed by Elliot Dickerhoof, produced by Anna Wenger. “First Dates With Toby Harris” is a series that takes us on a journey of ill-fated first dates with the lovable (sometimes deplorable) and always single Toby Harris. Set in Los Angeles, each episode centers around a different woman and issue that will leave the audience bickering about who was right and who was wrong, and how they might have handled it better. Love him or hate him, a date with Toby is a date you will always remember.

  • Episode length: approx 3-5 minutes
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Total run of episodes: 12

“Burning Love” (Paramount Pictures/Red Hour), Coming Spring 2012

The scripted comedy series “Burning Love” spoofs popular reality dating shows and features an impressive lineup of comedic actors from film and television including Ken Marino, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Michael Ian Black, Ken Jeong, Adam Scott, Abigail Spencer, Natasha Leggero, Ryan Hansen, June Diane Raphael, Noureen DeWulf, Kerri Kenney, Beth Dover, and more. The show follows fireman Mark Orlando ( Ken Marino ) as he searches for the perfect woman. Viewers get a front-row seat to the champagne toasts, candles, heartbreak, bubble baths, chocolate, choreography, hair extensions, roller skating, betrayal, spray-tans, and rainbows in the most romantic, comedic Web series ever made.

“Sketchy” (Principato Young/ Electus ) http://screen.yahoo.com/sketchy/

“Sketchy” is a weekly video series featuring stand-alone, topical comedy shorts written, directed, and starring some of the biggest names in comedy.

  • Episode length: approx. 3-5 minutes
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Total run of episodes: 26

“7 Minutes in Heaven” (Broadway Video) http://screen.yahoo.com/7minutesinheaven/

Host Mike O’Brien (“Saturday Night Live” writer) invites celebrities into his closet for an intimate conversation.

  • Episode length: approx. 3-5 minutes
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Total run of episodes: 10

” Odd News ” ( Yahoo! Studios) http://screen.yahoo.com/oddnews

“Odd News” is a weekly Web show, hosted by Greg Proops, that delights and surprises viewers with the funniest, most bizarre, but absolutely real news stories of the week. “Odd News” is consistently in the top ten of the most watched shows online.

  • Episode length: approx. 3-5 minutes
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Total run of episodes: 24

“Hackerazzi” ( David Morgasen ), Launching March 19, 2012

From David Morgasen, the director known for classic viral videos like the “David Blaine Street Magic” spoofs and “Obama-McCain Dance-off”, as well as his work on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” comes “Hackerazzi.” It’s like Wikileaks, except instead of classified government documents, it features embarrassing celebrity videos, never meant for us to see. It’s the only place you can see hidden treasures like Mitt Romney busting a move at a fundraiser, Prince William pulling a prank that goes horribly wrong on Kate Middleton, or Donald Trump getting dissed by a parrot. All this thanks to state-of-the-art digital effects.

  • Episode length: approx. 2-4 minutes
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Total run of episodes: 14

*Source: Yahoo!

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