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September 2, 2015

NBC tapes HIGNFY pilot with Sedar, Giraldo, Black

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 24th 2009 8:33PM
It seems that Santa Claus got my letter after all: American networks are starting to notice the awesome comedic power of British panel shows.

Unfortunately, he didn't it read it very closely: that network is NBC. Hope you like Ex-Lax in your cookies, Santa.

NBC just taped a pilot episode of a remake of the BBC's most famous and classic panel quiz show, Have I Got News For You. It's being hosted by comedian and Air America host Sam Sedar and features Greg Giraldo and Michael Ian Black as the regular team panelists. Buzzerblog doesn't seem to have much confidence in the show being good, but Giraldo and Black and the fact that a network is willing to take a chance on real satire and comedy panel humor makes me want to give it a chance.

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As a Brit, I've grown up with HIGNFY and have watched it (not constantly however) since in my mid-teens. It's one of the few shows that's always made me wonder why the format hasn't ever been exported to the states. HIGNFY along with "Question of Sport", which I cannot stand, and the sublime "Shooting Stars" have always been the forefront of the comedy panel quiz show here, but have unfortunately spawned a million copycats in the last few years.

If you hear audience laughter on one of the few channels we have that produce original content, then chances are it's an "off the cuff" panel show that hasn't at all been scripted, or is an excuse for comedians to recycle their stand up routines. Definitely not. Original comedy is dying as like reality TV, the format is cheap to produce and aims for a fairly broad audience, even if the topics are usually news related or topical. It's an oversubscribed genre that was parodied, wonderfully, in the two seasons of Rob Brydon's "Anually Retentive" which had no qualms with digging it's claws in at every opportunity. If you like British comedy and know anything about panel shows, it's a must watch.

Luckily for me, I have an Americanised taste in humour too so can avoid most of the dross we air here in favour of CBS/NBC's fantastic Monday and Thursday night lineups (along with a love of Stella, The State and their various interlinked counterparts) so the idea that our most cherished of all panel shows is being 'remade' is welcome, with caution. With Michael Ian Black and Greg Giraldo, despite his reputation as a show killer, at the helm along with a degree of authenticity by using the host of Air America, on paper it certainly sounds like it would work. With NBC desperate to sign pretty much anything right now, I have more hope than if it was another doomed to failure Comedy Central project.

I'd like to see a photo of Paul Merton and Michael Ian Black sitting next to each other, as a kind of trans-atlantic paradox.

November 25 2009 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let the defamation/slander suits fly!

November 25 2009 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll give it a chance as I'm a fan of MIB, but this is another of those shows that I'd like to see in its original form on BBCA.

November 24 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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