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With DVRs, streaming and many other ways to view our favorite programs, the allure of live TV has become a compelling way for networks to lure in audiences. This means sports are still a big draw, but it also means that networks have found success airing other sorts of live programming, including NBC’s recent Sound of Music Live! ratings winner. In an attempt to get in on that magic, House Of Lies has decided to roll with an improvised special in front of a live studio audience. It won’t air as it’s actually being filmed but assumedly, it won’t be cleaned up in anyway to fix screw-ups. So, if nothing else, it’s pretty on trend.
House of Lies is typically a scripted comedy program that airs on Showtime on Sunday evenings. The show is currently off the air, with the third season slated to hit the schedule on January 12, 2014 at 10 p.m. ET. The Live! special has been positioned to air a littler earlier, giving fans the opportunity to tune in around the holidays. The House of Lies Live! event will first be available on December 30, on platforms that include Sho.com, the House of Lies Facebook page, and the House of Lies YouTube page. If you are more of a traditional TV watcher, the special will air on the subscription cable network itself the following night at 10 p.m. ET.
Here’s the premise: Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Lauren Lapkus, Ryan Gaul and Eugene Cordero all headed to the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles where an audience showed up to see something unusual outside the box and potentially amazing. Then, the cast put on an improv show in front of the live audience whilst still portraying their TV characters. The results are a little weird, and look something like this…
In the clip, an audience member hollers about a pregnancy and cast members Cheadle and Schwartz act out a sketch about a pregnant man. House of Lies is typically a show about a management firm called the Pod that consults for large corporations across the United States, so this sketch is quite a bit outside the norm for the series, but ideally, the larger special will maintain some cohesion by forcing Bell and company to remain in character as best as possible and ideally, not randomly obsess about sloths.
If this attracts the right number of eyeballs and gets a little online buzz, it’s quite possible it may start a trend in which many of our favorite characters work outside the box to drum up a little publicity. If it quietly comes and goes without much conversation, expect the trend to stop before it even starts.