It is my commitment to highlight as part of this site the latest in online TV entertainment. So what should show up in my Inbox this week but information on a new online comedy series, “Fact Checkers Unit.”
“FCU: Fact Checker’s Unit” follows the adventures of two overzealous fact checkers – Russell (Karinen) and Dylan (Sacca) – who work at the popular Dictum magazine and stop at nothing to check the most absurd celebrity facts.
In getting to know this show, the first thing I did was check out the original short film from YouTube in 2008. Hiliarious! It must have been a big thrill to get Bill Murray to play along with this. Fact Checkers Unit is now an online series for NBC Digital Studios and can be found on www.factcheckersunit.com.
Three new episodes have already been posted. Episodes 1 – 3 star Luke Perry, Donald Faison and Karolina Kurkova. Below is the one with Luke Perry, which had me rolling in tears. It involves a ghost story and is aptly titled “Paranormal Factivity.”
ABOUT “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit”
The NBC Digital Studios series “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit” premieres on August 17 on www.factcheckersunit.com.
The digital series is based on a 2008 short film of the same name and reunites original cast members and co-creators Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca and features guest stars Luke Perry (“90210”), Alex Trebek (“Jeopardy”), Dave Navarro (“Jane’s Addiction”), model Karolina Kurkova , Donald Faison (“Scrubs”), Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite”), Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) and Zach Gilford (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”).
No star is too big and no fact too obscure or arcane to run down for accuracy’s sake. The series will feature globally recognizable guest stars as themselves and check facts such as those concerning Luke Perry: (Is Luke’s house really haunted?), Alex Trebek (Does Alex shave against the grain?), Dave Navarro (Does Dave insist that the tears of a virgin, beetles and finger sandwiches be provided backstage at any venue he plays?) and Karolina Kurkova (Does Karolina use SPF 125 at the beach?).
Each episode will run approximately five-to-six minutes in length. Tom Bannister is the executive producer for the series from SXM and Dan Beers will direct.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, and NBC Universal Digital Studio, teamed up to produce the scripted comedy which highlights the capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S smart phone.
Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca
At NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, students pointed and laughed at Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca. Thus, in 2003, it made sense to start cashing in on this phenomenon and take to the stage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatres in NYC and LA. Their most acclaimed oeuvre, “Pete and Brian’s One Man Show,” simultaneously touched and offended capacity audiences on both coasts, and was an official selection of the 2007 HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.
Since then, Pete and Brian have written two almost-funny-enough pilots for 20th Century Fox, amassed an almost-impressive online following by making a ton of web videos — including two seasons of the series “Single Dads” for Fox International Channels — and have written for numerous award shows, including the MTV Movie Awards. Their first foray into fact checking came in 2008, when their short film “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit” (co-created with Dan Beers and starring Bill Murray) was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
They are currently developing two almost-original screenplays with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films and “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer.
Dan Beers began his career in 1998 working as a development executive for the New York based independent production company Good Machine.
In 2002 Beers began working with filmmaker Wes Anderson ultimately becoming an associate producer on the movie “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.”
Beers went on to develop and co-write a project for Producer Scott Armstrong with comedian Rob Huebel and later he adapted a comedic book with Oliver Platt.
In 2007, Beers co-wrote (with Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca) and directed the short film “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit” starring Bill Murray and Kristen Schaal (“The Daily Show”). The film attracted over one million views online and was an official selection in the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009 “FCU” went on to win “Best Comedy Short ” at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and in 2010 was picked up by NBC Universal Digital Studios and slated for an online series.
In addition to “FCU” Beers is currently working on projects with Blue Sky/Fox Animation, writer/producer Jeremy Garelick and MTV.