That’s right – The Onion (as opposed to the onion), the newspaper that makes no bones about the fact that it is making it all up has a 30-minute program to be called the Onion News Network in the works. It’s shooting for a 2011 debut on the Independent Film Channel.
The Onion already has a strong video element present on its website version, but says that ONN will be a separate and unique product, even if some of the talent putting both the current web videos and the future television show will be shared.
Executive Producer Will Graham told The New York Times, “If you look at CNN.com or FoxNews.com, and you see these little snippets there, now we’re going to give you the whole network, and make it the most authentic, aggressive, snarky, in-your-face news show out there.”
He added, “It just seems to us, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC are already doing such great comedy out there, without a whole lot of competition. We thought it was about time that someone really gave them a run for their money.”
And competing with the straight news channels, rather than Comedy Central fare like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report is at the very least the plan that is getting lip service.
Speaking of Comedy Central, The Onion also has an earlier deal with that network to produce a program called Onion Sports Network.
RBR-TVBR observation: Print, internet, now television (an obvious outgrowth of internet video product). The Onion is extending its brand in all directions. It also produces audio content on its website – could a network radio deal be in its future?