TruTV continues to step up its slate of comedy series with its first scripted show. Those Who Can’t is a Denver-based sitcom starring Grawlix troupe comedians Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland and Andrew Orvedahl. The trio play immature teachers at Denver’s fictional Buchanan High School.
Those Who Can’t began as an Amazon Studios pilot before TruTV bought the rights and reordered a new pilot. The network has since ordered 10 episodes of the comedy series to be shot in Los Angeles. The move is a big jump for the Grawlix troupe who were paid just $50,000 to shoot the first pilot by Amazon. Turner Broadcasting’s TruTV channel arguably has a bigger development purse than Amazon’s Instant Video streaming service. “Those Who Can’t has exactly the kind of fresh, slightly off-kilter humor we’re looking for as we venture into the world of scripted comedy,” said TruTV head of programming Chris Linn.
The show also stars Maria Thayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as a librarian and stand-ups Rory Scovel and Kyle Kinane will play smaller roles. At least in the new pilot, Cayton-Holland played a haughty Spanish teacher; Orvedahl played a clueless gym teacher; and Roy is a punk-rock history teacher.
TruTV has slowly added more and more comedy series as its shies away from general reality television. The network began as Court TV before being relaunched as TruTV, expanding its programming beyond trial coverage into reality television not related to law enforcement. Since then, Linn has added reality-based comedies, mostly hidden camera and practical joke shows, like Impractical Jokers, Friends of the People, Joker’s Wild and The Carbonaro Effect.
Bringing in a scripted comedy hit tends to be the cornerstone of a network. Roy, Cayton-Holland and Orvedahl hope they are TruTV’s. “The best part is that we haven’t had a ton of national exposure,” said Roy. “We’ll get a chance to show a whole new audience the tricks we’ve been honing on our own.”