Digital channel studio and content syndicator Best Ever Channels, together with comedy management, production, and venue operator The Stand Group Inc., on Oct. 3 announced the launch of a new comedy-focused FAST channel, WITZ-Comedy TV.
The new channel will debut in November with new original series and standup comedy specials featuring such top comics as Sal Vulcano, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Laurie Kilmartin, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Bret Ernst, Yannis Pappis and more.
WITZ will air several original series, including “Upstairs at The Stand,” “Passed,” “Would You Bang Him,” “NYC Comedy Under Lincoln Center,” “The Riff” and “WITZ-Bitz.” Also on tap are several comedy specials, including “Anonymous,” the first production ever shot at an NA Convention, and Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad,” which the New York Times called “a story of complexity and nuance and emotional power.”
WITZ-Comedy TV has partnered with Angry Buddha, a TV producer and New York City-based production company, to produce its slate of specials and original programming for the WITZ network. The partners will also develop and offer exclusive WITZ-Comedy TV-branded programming to platforms and advertisers. Additionally, WITZ’s Jonathan Schwartz, a former Maverick Films and Relativity Media executive, will work alongside Angry Buddha, producers, and talent to develop additional new series, features, and formats for the network.
“We’re creating a FAST 2.0 channel with WITZ-Comedy TV,” said Barry Gordon, co-CEO of BEC. “The Stand’s talent relationships coupled with Angry Buddha and Jon’s production chops make for a winning team that will drive WITZ as the new comedy destination, and a brand that’s chock-full with original content, attitude, and fresh energy.”
“Rich Vos is pioneering new territory with his comedy special ANONYMOUS. We’ve always wanted to explore new and unhindered ways to present standup, and we’ve found it,” said Cris Italia, partner at The Stand Group. “WITZ allows us to create a home for formats that might have not been accepted elsewhere, making it a true pioneer in comedy. No one in streaming media or linear is taking things to this level. We’re talking about comedy formats well beyond just standup, all with top-notch talent.”