While some mostly original content has been on IFC for the past few years, over the past few months the channel has worked hard to place more of these shows front and center on its schedule. They've changed their logo, given us Portlandia, and today they threw down the gauntlet by having their very first honest-to-goodness upfront. While most channels work to produce huge spectacles to wow reporters and advertisers, today IFC gave us a chill laid back presentation fitting for a post-SXSW week. The whole event was so subdued that even Suzanne Sena opening the presentation in her Onion News Network persona, Brooke Alvarez, wasn't even annoying. We were then told just how cool IFC is and how it is working to "curate alternative comedy," so that we would know that even though they were holding an upfront they still were proud to be serving their own spot in television the "media of the niches." Even if they were almost too chill, I have to give them credit for not overusing buzz words like "authentic." After a pithy rundown of the new shows, Fred Armisen was brought out as if a bird to be put on a tote bag to announce that they will beginning writing the next season of Portlandia in April.
When you hear that The Onion is getting its own television news show, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, "reliable news source," of course. In the tier of fake news reporting somewhere between Fox News and The Daily Show/Colbert Report comes The Onion News Network on IFC. Basically, ONN (not to be mistaken with OWN, which is an easy thing to do) take all of their very believable headlines from TheOnion.com and have clueless, yet confident news reporters describe them to you. This "news without mercy" includes such crucial issues as tangled headphones costing Americans millions every year and the new matching varsity jackets that the Supreme Court judges just bought. Can you even handle these riveting topics? Because "you've just been cleared to enter the FactZone."