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October 25, 2014

Jack Black teams up with VH1

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 15th 2006 7:04PM
Jack BlackWelcome to the post-YouTube world of television programming. Brookers got a development deal with Carson Daly. One half of Ask a Ninja signed with United Talent Agency, and now, Jack Black and friends are bringing viewer-produced comedy shorts along with their own original material to VH1.

Called The Department of Acceptable Media, the program is based on a live event that Jack Black, along with Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, have hosted in Hollywood since 2003. At the live event, five-minute "pilots" by aspiring filmmakers are screened and the audience votes on their favorites. The televised program will work in the same way - viewers will vote online at www.acceptable.tv - for their favorite shorts. The winning "pilots" will get to produce a second episode. The losers will be canceled.

There is a catch. Out of the entire half-hour episode, only one of the shorts might actually be user-generated. The majority of the show's material will be written and produced by Jack Black and company. That balance might change as the show evolves, but for the time being, The Department of Acceptable Media is as much a scripted sketch program as it is a YouTube-style outlet on television.

This project sounds right up Jack Black's alley, and more importantly, his partners on the project Harmon and Schrab were the co-executive producers behind the failed Fox pilot Heat Vision of Jack. Heat Vision went on to become one of the internet's most popular viral videos. Directed by Ben Stiller, the pilot starred Jack Black as an astronaut on the run, accompanied by an Owen Wilson-voiced talking motorcycle. This and the Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien-created Lookwell! are easily the two best pilots to find a second life via the internet. If you haven't seen them, be sure no one in your office is looking and check them out.

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