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Upright Citizens Brigade Inks First-Look Deal With UCP

Jun 21, 2016

Universal Cable Productions and Upright Citizens Brigade are joining forces. Founders Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, have signed a first-look deal with the studio, through which UCP will provide resources and support to develop UCB productions into scripted programming for NBCUniversal Entertainment's various cable networks, which include USA, Syfy, E! and Bravo.

"UCB is comprised of a group of amazingly talented people who are fearless when it comes to taking comedic risks," UCP evp of development Dawn Olmstead said. "This partnership is a perfect fit for the studio because it allows us to incubate fresh ideas and make our mark in the comedy space by tapping into UCB’s unique point of view. We're thrilled to be working with them." 

As part of the deal, UCB has five projects in development at the studio: 

We Can Fix You: Is your personal life in need of an overhaul? Besser, Roberts and a team of UCB comedians take on the personal problems of a studio audience and then, using unorthodox methods, set out to transform their lives for the better. They may not be trained, but their empathy runs deep. Based on the successful UCB stage show. Besser, Poehler, Roberts, Walsh, Owen Burke and Aliyah Silverstein serve as executive producers.

House of Delta: The cutthroat inner machinations of a Southern sorority as told through the dramatic lens of a political thriller. If you think the drama depicted in David Fincher's House of Cards is intense, wait until you get a glimpse of the dark inner workings of the Delta Omega sorority at Southeast Georgia State University! Laura Grey and Megan Stein to write and executive produce.

Sing: A parody of musically-driven TV shows (Empire, Nashville) that follows a group of misfits in the surprisingly high-stakes world of karaoke. Jeff Hiller and Pam Murphy are executive producers/writers.

The Peligroso Project: Horatio Sanz (Saturday Night Live) and Tom Gianas (Mr. Show with Bob and David) present a comedy series showcasing writing and performances from the next generation of Latino talent. Each episode features sketch comedy performed in front of a live studio audience, digital shorts and live man-on-the-street bits. 

Hell House: This mockumentary series follows the passionate but misguided members of a church planning committee as they prepare for their biggest event of the year: a sin-themed haunted house. Adam McCabe, Noam Bleiweiss and Betsy Sodaro to write and executive produce.

The deal marks UCP's first such arrangement with a theater troupe and extends the studio's working relationship with alums from the comedy troupe, which has spawned dozens of successful comedians on both film and TV. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, the creators and stars behind UCP's Playing House, are both alums. UCP is also home to Hulu's Difficult People, which Poehler exec-produces.

Seeso, from NBCUniversal's Digital Enterprises, is also home to The UCB Show, which is hosted and exec-produced by Poehler, Besser, Roberts and Walsh. In addition, Bravo aired a 2005 Upright Citizens Brigade special, A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.: Improv – named after UCB's long-running show.

The four UCB founders previously created and starred in their own Comedy Central show, titled Upright Citizens Brigade, which ran for three seasons from 1998-2000. Since then, all four have gone on to find success on the small screen, most notably Poehler with her Emmy-nominated turns on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation. Walsh is a series regular on HBO's Veep, while Roberts served as an executive producer on Key & Peele, and now TV Land's Teachers. Besser's many screen credits include Parks and Recreation, Modern Family and Drunk History, among others. Formed in the early 90s, UCB has since expanded to four locations, including two in Los Angeles and two in New York.

Src: The Hollywood Report

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NBC and The UCB Theatre NY's 6th Annual Diversity Scholarship

May 18, 2016

NBC will offer scholarships to students of the UCB Training Center NYC. 

A live "Finalists Showcase" will be scheduled in late summer at the UCB Theatre for 10 finalists selected by the Artistic Director of the UCB Theatre NY and NBC. The 2016 Diversity Scholar will be selected by both UCBT and NBCU executives based on the performances at the showcase. 

The scholarship recipient must be located in or around New York City. The recipient will be responsible for their own transportation costs to and from New York City for classes. If the recipient is eligible, the scholarship can be used for UCB Advanced Classes (specific classes based on availability). 


This scholarship seeks to celebrate voices that are underrepresented in professional comedy jobs. Unfortunately, that tends to be anyone who isn't a straight white male in their 20s. So, we invite all performers, particularly women and people from diverse backgrounds less commonly seen on the comedy stages of NYC, who are currently house performers at an improv theater or have completed a core improv course at a recognized longform improv theatre/school. In other words, this scholarship is not for beginners, but for folks with some comedy experience already under their belt. 



Diversity Scholarship Finalist Showcase Date: Thursday August 18, 7pm, UCBT East Village 

--semi-finalists will be notified by August 5th; semi-finalists will audition for NBC and UCBT in a private audition; finalists to perform at public showcase will be chosen from private semi-finalist audition


All applications must completely and correctly fill out a google form ( that must include the following materials: 

Create a 3 minutes or less video showing us who you are. Videos exceeding 3 minutes will not be watched and your submission will not be considered. Please tell us why you are a good candidate for the program, a description of your diverse background, and who your comedic role models are and why. The video should also include a short performance of a sketch, stand-up, character monologue and/or comedic bit that you have written. You may use other performers in your video if needed. Be creative!

In addition to performance footage, please make sure to explicitly answer the following questions:

- Why do you think you are a good candidate for this scholarship? 

- Name the performer who most inspires you. Why?

Video format: Link to performance, youtube preferred. 
Do NOT send a link/format that requires downloading (like YouSendIt, dropbox etc). 
It will not be watched and your submission will not be considered. 

2. Link to Headshot & Resume
A performance resume or a list of your performance or comedy background. Please specify which core improv program you have completed, and/or the theater where you currently perform.

You must fill in all requested contact information. 

Google Form must be completely and correctly filled in or your submission will not be taken into consideration. Here is a link to the form again

If you have any questions that have not been answered above, you can email UCBTNY Artistic Director Shannon O'Neill spo at ucbcomedy dot com. Please use the Subject: NBC/UCBT Scholarship_your name 

We look forward to your submissions!
Src: Hilary Kissinger
NBC diversity scholarship

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Mar 28, 2016
By: Julien Darmoni

UCB Theatre is proud to serve as a resource for new and emerging comedic talent.  Congratulations UCB performers and alumni who were cast in or produced pilots for the 2016 TV season, including: 

Rebecca Addelman (ep) - The First Wives Club, TV Land 

Eric Appel (d, co-ep) - Son of Zorn, FOX 

John Ross Bowie - Speechless, ABC 

Owen Burke (ep) - Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, Comedy Central

Nicole Byer - Untitled Nicole Byer, MTV 

D'Arcy Carden - Good Place, NBC 

Wyatt Cenac - People of Earth, TBS 

Jessica Chaffin - I'm Not Your Friend, CBS 

Adam Conover (ep, cast) - No Dumb Questions, TruTV

Eugene Cordero - Crunch Time, NBC

Andy Daly - Chunk & Bean, ABC 

Jon Daly - Untitled Laura Steinel, FOX 

Johnathan Fernandez - Lethal Weapon, FOX

Brian Gallivan (w, ep) - Hail Mary, ABC 

John Gemberling - Overanalyzers, Comedy Central 

Kirby Howell-Baptiste - Downward Dog, ABC 

Rob Huebel (cast, w, ep) - Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, Comedy Central

Brian Huskey - People of Earth, TBS 

Luka Jones - People of Earth, TBS 

Moshe Kasher (cast, ep) - Problematic with Moshe Kasher

Hannah Kasulka - The Exorcist, FOX 

Echo Kellum (cast, ep) - Overanalyzers, Comedy Central 

Kassia Miller (w) - Imaginary Friend, NBC

Megan Neuringer - Imaginary Friend, NBC O

livia Norman - Bad Couple, Comedy Central 

Griffin Newman - The Tick, Amazon

Veronica Osorio - Untitled Laura Steinel, FOX 

Adam Pally - Making History, FOX 

Nasim Pedrad (cast, w, ep) - Chad: An American Boy, FOX 

Aubrey Plaza - Legion, FX

Amy Poehler (ep) - Untitled Amy Poehler, NBC 

Diona Reasonover - Charity Case, FOX 

Paul Scheer (ep) - Bad Guys, Adult Swim 

Jenny Slate - Untitled Gillian Robespierre, FX 

Chris Smith - Untitled Matt Hubbard/Mike Schur, NBC 

Noel Wells (cast, w, ep) - Bad Couple, Comedy Central 

Alice Wetterlund - People of Earth, TBS 

Tracey Wigfield (w, ep) - Untitled Tracey Wigfield, NBC 

Jessica Williams (cast, w, ep) - Untitled Jessica Williams, Comedy Central

Casey Wilson - Hail Mary, ABC 

Casey Wilson - One Mississippi, Amazon

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