'Fake Steve Jobs,' 'Seinfeld' scribe team for Silicon Valley comedy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."



The comedy, which will air on the premium cable network Epix, is being pitched by the network as a "riotous satire of Silicon Valley and its most powerful figures." Given that it will be written by Lyons, who created the "Fake Steve" persona, it's likely that the Apple co-founder will be an inevitable topic for the program, though plot details are not yet known.



Ben Kessler, spokesman for Epix, told AppleInsider that "iCon" is currently in pre-production and an air date for the pilot episode has not been determined.



Epix is the result of a collaboration between Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM -- a premium, HBO-style network that offers all of its content not only on cable, but via Internet and on mobile devices as well. Kessler said the tech-savvy business model corresponds well to the Silicon Valley satire, though the program will be geared towards a wide audience.



"It will also have that mainstream appeal because Larry Charles, who's produced a ton of amazing shows, is going to be behind it," Kessler said.



In addition to being a staff writer for "Seinfeld," Charles was also involved in the programs "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage." He also directed the films "Borat," "Religulous" and "Bruno," and will bring his directing experience to the pilot episode of "iCon."



"We are attempting to do nothing less than a modern 'Citizen Kane,'" Charles said in a press release. He will also oversee script development of the program. "We needed a bold environment to nurture such a vision. One that was free of pre-conceived ideas. And Epix made it clear they were that place. They asked us to make their home our home. And we have."



Epix launched its channel, video-on-demand and online service on Oct. 30, 2009. The network has access to more than 15,000 movies from its partners' libraries, including titles from Paramount, Lionsgate and United Artists.



"A comedy series by Larry Charles is the perfect complement to the original comedy specials being produced by Epix," Mark Greenberg, president of Epix, said in a press release. "His incomparable sense of humor, along with Dan’s insight will have hilarious results that we can’t wait to see."



Lyons, who is also the technology columnist for Newsweek, made headlines late last year when, as the satirical "Fake Steve Jobs," he promoted an "attack" on the AT&T network due to poor iPhone reception. Dubbed "Operation Chokehold," the coordinated effort suggested by Lyons asked users to run bandwidth intensive applications on their phone at a specific time in order to "overwhelm" the AT&T network. Though the event had no impact on the network, an AT&T spokesman said there was "nothing amusing" about the stunt.



Coincidentally, "iCon" was also the name of a 2005 unauthorized biography of Jobs by author Jeffrey S. Young. Its publication inspired Apple to pull all titles published by John Wiley & Sons from the company's stores. The reaction earned the book free publicity, and caused the publisher to double the title's initial press run and race it to stores a few weeks ahead of schedule.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Casting Call



    Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    I am not sure that this one has legs outside of the geek-community.



    My prediction: 15 minutes of fame.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,247member
    I really do hope that it's not just a hatchet job on Steve. I'm all for satire and good humor, as long as it's even-handed. It would be a shame if Jobs is made to look like the villain, while Ballmer et al serve as foils. With Steve having cancer and a transplant they would be walking a fine line between humor and kicking a guy when he's down.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."



    Hope it's funnier than the book with the same name. Man what a pile of stolen material that was (it was nothing but a collection of "as was (sometimes) cited in this other book you've already read"). Banning the publisher from the Apple stores was too good for him.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICon
  • Reply 5 of 44
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Epix fail.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    I really do hope that it's not just a hatchet job on Steve. I'm all for satire and good humor, as long as it's even-handed. It would be a shame if Jobs is made to look like the villain, while Ballmer et al serve as foils. With Steve having cancer and a transplant they would be walking a fine line between humor and kicking a guy when he's down.



    I get the gist of what you are saying--some of the SJ bashers on AI can be really cruel and heartless in their comments about SJ. As a counter point SB hasn't faired well on comments either--balance.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post


    Hope it's funnier than the book with the same name. Man what a pile of stolen material that was (it was nothing but a collection of "as was (sometimes) cited in this other book you've already read"). Banning the publisher from the Apple stores was too good for him.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICon



    Is it available on Kindle? Or Google Books?
  • Reply 8 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    This could be really, really funny. Looking forward to the slaughter or egos.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Casting Call



    Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.



    Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle



    Bill Gates: Rick Moranis



    Google board: Do no evil
  • Reply 10 of 44
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."...



    Lame.



    Fake Steve Jobs was never funny IMO and Seinfeld is pretty much the only credit for Charles worth mentioning. This is two bottom feeders doing what they do best. Sadly, the popularity of Apple and Steve Jobs will sell the show regardless of it's inevitable comedic failings and people will like it because it's a "thing" not because it's well written or funny.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allblue View Post


    Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle



    Bill Gates: Rick Moranis



    Google board: Do no evil



    Like the Peter Boyle suggestion -- somewhere some one put a pix of PB in young Frankenstein in comments about SB.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by allblue View Post


    Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle



    Bill Gates: Rick Moranis



    Google board: Do no evil



    Judging by the title, it's just going to be about Apple and basically a direct slam on Steve Jobs. Despite the talk about doing Silicon Valley as a whole, the book of the same name is just about Apple, so the show probably will be too. They make deals like this based on the script and the script is based on the written property they are buying the rights to (iCon).



    Lyons is so obsessed with Steve Jobs he probably can't do anything else, and (sadly), despite the much greater opportunity for comedy afforded by focussing on Microsoft, it's more likely that it won't have anything to do with Balmer or Gates at all.



    Kicking people when they are "up," seems to be what America is all about, and Dan Lyons is obsessed by Steve jobs' success and life. Those are your two biggest predictors of what the show will be like.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Like the Peter Boyle suggestion -- somewhere some one put a pix of PB in young Frankenstein in comments about SB.



    I think that may have been me, but Peter Boyle is out of the running since he is dead.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I think that may have been me, but Peter Boyle is out of the running since he is dead.



    I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Casting Call



    Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.



    There are plenty of fat, loud mouthed people in the world. It should be simple to cast Balmer. Even Gates shouldn't be too hard. Just find an overtly unjustified egoist with a voice perpetually cracking as if he hasn't gone through puberty should do the trick.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    Not that Steve Jobs needs protecting, I hope it fails because of Dan Lyons. He just wants to keep leveraging off the one "success" he's had. Larry Charles will move on and be fine after it tanks. It's about time Lyons moves on too.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.



    He was terminal on Everybody loves Raymond--the main reason they wrapped up the series early. IMDB had his info the day of his passing. He was a great actor. He's irreplaceable like so many that are now gone from Hollywood.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.



    I don't see why Peter Boyle's death need necessarily preclude him from playing the part.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Sounds real cool to me.

    With all the pathetic reality TV crap out there - anything that has writers behind it will be an improvement to the TV format.



    New 'Breaking Bad' and 'Weeds' soon... might actually turn on the TV again.



    Reality TV - proof that a thousand monkeys behind typewriters can write a script.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Never heard of Epix.
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