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TruTV focuses on real laughs

US cable channel TruTV has unveiled a new line-up of comedy reality shows to target a growing tech-savvy audience.

Zodiak Rights

At its upfront, the Turner-owned network announced a production and development slate that includes three new original series and seven pilots, along with development deals and several returning hits.

In addition, the company will launch truTV.com, billed as “the cable industry’s first network website built with cutting-edge responsive design architecture.”

The new series are Panic Button, in which contestants brave a haunted house without pushing a button that will allow them to escape; Big Sam’s Kentucky Auction (working title), a look at the unpredictable world of a Southern auction house; and Cash Dome Pawn, a new entry in truTV’s franchise of pawnshop series.

Marc Juris, executive VP and chief operating officer of TruTV, said the network would continue to serve its “funseeker” audience, fans of comedy reality shows with an average age of 35. “We’re using TruTV’s growing slate of comedic reality series to target an underserved audience we call funseekers.

“We’ve already caught the attention of funseekers with hit shows like Impractical Jokers and Killer Karaoke. Now we’re ready to target them on a bigger scale, not only by creating more comedic reality series but also by giving them innovative opportunities to connect with their truTV favourites in the digital realm.”

The net is moving ahead with several pilots including Turbulence, a globe-trotting gameshow set on an aircraft; Payback with Trevor Moore (wt), in which participants have the chance to get revenge on a friend/relative/significant other; and Laugh Truck (wt), in which contestants compete in challenges while riding in the back of a truck.

The network is also in development on The Big Poll with John Henson (wt), a project billed as a “crowd-sourced comedy,” and Mind Games (wt), a competition with hypnotist Will Miner in which the participants don’t know they’re playing a game.

TruTV has also ordered pilots Cold Hard Catch, about an ice-fishing company, and Barnstormers (wt), a look at the world of barn auctions.

In addition, the network is extending several current series with new episode orders, including Guinness World Records Gone Wild! and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal. Those two orders join previously announced extensions of Impractical Jokers and Hardcore Pawn: Chicago.

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