Seeso Original will Intertwine Authentic ‘THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON’ Footage, Written and Created by Paul Reiser and David Steven Simon, Exec Produced by Reiser and David Gordon Green
New York, NY, October 11, 2016 – Seeso today announced the greenlighting of “THERE’S… JOHNNY!,” an eight episode comedy series set behind the scenes at “THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON.”
The coming of age story, set in 1970s Los Angeles, when “THE TONIGHT SHOW” first moved from New York to Burbank, is written by Paul Reiser (“MAD ABOUT YOU,” “WHIPLASH,” “RED OAKS”) and David Steven Simon (“THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR,” “MAD ABOUT YOU), and Executive Produced by Reiser, Simon and David Gordon Green (“RED OAKS,” “VICE PRINCIPALS”), who also will be directing.
The Seeso Original Series follows the lives and challenges of Andy, a wide-eyed 19-year-old Nebraskan who stumbles his way into a job at “THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON,” and Joy, a young Talent Coordinator on the show, as they both try to find their way and prove themselves in this period of cultural and political upheaval. The show will touch on major historical events of the time, including the Vietnam War, Nixon, and the strengthening counter-culture, as well the show’s status as one of the most popular and important cultural institution of its day.
“Growing up, the coolest thing imaginable was to someday get on “THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON” and make Johnny laugh. The fact that I got to do that was a dream come true, and going back now to explore that world, and pay homage to Johnny and that golden time is an absolute joy,” said Paul Reiser.
Produced in conjunction with the Carson Estate, the show has on board Executive Producer Jeff Sotzing, Carson’s nephew, who, like the lead character, also started “a little lower than the mailroom” at that time, and today runs the Carson Estate. The series will premiere in 2017, 55 years after Carson’s first appearance in “THE TONIGHT SHOW,” and 25 years after his last show.
“1972 was as chaotic as today - cultural unrest, an unpopular war, an election that would change politics forever. Despite that, each night, from a studio in Burbank, a bunch of folks put on a show that made all of America smile, together. This inventive story looks back, and inward, at just how important humor is to the American psyche. Plus, the chance to bring both Paul Reiser and Johnny Carson back to the NBCUniversal family is an awesome, once in a lifetime thing.” said Evan Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal.
With unprecedented access to the full Carson archives, the comedy will intertwine live action with authentic footage of Johnny and his guests on screen. The series will focus on the people behind the scenes of the legendary late-night show, while Johnny will be portrayed as a looming presence.
Executive Producers include Paul Reiser, David Gordon Green, David Steven Simon, Brian Volk-Weiss, Michael Pelmont, Cisco Henson, and Matt Ochacher. Seeso’s Evan Shapiro, Kelsey Balance and Dan Kerstetter will also Executive Produce the series, and Craig Knizek will serve as Producer. The Seeso Original Series will be co-produced by Nuance Productions, Comedy Dynamics, and Rough House, in partnership with the Carson Estate.
Seeso is the new, ad-free streaming comedy channel from NBCUniversal’s Digital Enterprises. The channel gives comedy viewers access to over 2,000 hours of original programming, with new, original content rolling out daily. Viewers are able to access the curated library for $3.99 a month via www.seeso.com, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick as well as Amazon Instant Video.