Digital entertainment platform F-Comedy announced today that it has signed a production deal with Bassem Youssef (a.k.a. “the Jon Stewart of Egypt”) to host “The Democracy Handbook.”
Produced by former “Daily Show” producer and “Adam Ruins Everything” executive producer Kathy Egan, the digital series and corresponding television special will follow Youssef as he comes to America to learn the lessons of democracy, so he can import them back to the Middle East, only to discover that our democracy isn’t quite as great as he thought it was.
F-comedy is a division of Fusion, a multi-platform media company launched as a joint venture between Univision and the Disney/ABC Television Network in Oct. 2013. It produces a mix of news, pop culture and targeting diverse cross-section millennial viewers across its platforms, which include various MPVDs, as well as its web site and OTT providers such as Apple TV, Roku, and Sling TV.
A former cardiac surgeon-turned-social commentator, Youssef gained international attention satirical show in Egypt during the Arab Spring, leading Time Magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
“The Democracy Handbook” will premiere across all of Fusion’s platforms in spring 2016 as a part of the network’s broader election coverage.
“Our brand of comedy is dedicated to challenging the status quo and trying to provoke shifts in the way people look at the world around them,” said Bryan Carmel, head of comedy for Fusion, in a statement. “Bassem is one of the world’s most astute and therefore dangerous satirists — he knows how to get people fired up about important issues. We can’t wait to see what he learns about American democracy during this unique election year.”
Upcoming F-Comedy shows include “UCB-IRL,” a six-part series from the Upright Citizens Brigade’s production studio UCB Comedy featuring social experiments that explore the complexity of modern life, from racial tokenism to vasectomies.
F-Comedy has also commissioned “Internet History,” a five-episode series that shows what would happen if God had a Facebook feed and could check in on important events throughout human history. The concept originated at a creator workshop hosted by F-Comedy at YouTube Space LA in September, where Youssef oversaw the ideation and gave guidance on the format. YouTube creators involved include Michelle Glavan, and Danny Jolles, Zach Webber and Nick Williams of Sasquatch Sketch Comedy.