Cybertainment: New comedies showing up on Web

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The new fall TV season is underway on screens of all sizes: the Web TV world is also rolling out new comedy offerings.

Yahoo! Screen has released five new series and is bringing back three others.

"Ghost Ghirls" is a sharply written and acted comedy with Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci playing an inept pair of paranormal investigators. Jack Black is co-producer for the 12-episode series.

In one episode, they investigate a series of murders of clients at a brothel. In another, they try to help the ghosts of a Southern rock band killed in a plane crash finish an unrecorded song. The band is played by Mr. Black, Val Kilmer and Dave Grohl.

In "The Fuzz," a group of puppets and human actors fight out drug wars in Puppet Town in a funny yet violent show that mixes elements of "Chinatown," "Scarface" and "Sesame Street." It's definitely not for kids -- or for adults who find puppets getting punched in the face and shot disturbing.

Cheryl Hines and Rachael Harris star as themselves in "We Need Help," a behind the scenes showbiz comedy. Max Loeb plays their assistant, who took the job as a way of launching his own acting career.

"Tiny Commando" stars Zachary Levi as a former Navy Seal who shrinks to a height of 4 inches as a result of a military experiment gone awry. He makes the best of his situation by battling evil using tiny toy cars and helicopters.

In "Losing It With John Stamos," celebrities look back on how and when they lost their virginity and their comic, awkward and embarrassing experiences. The series was created by Morgan Spurlock and Mr. Stamos. Guests include Alan Cumming, Olivia Munn, Perez Hilton and Bob Saget.

Returning for another season are "The Flip Side," a witty exploration of what would happen if social roles were reversed -- men and women, parents and kids, even cats and dogs, "Sports Friends," an animated series that features imaginary conversations between professional athletes, and the weekly sketch comedy series "SketchY!"

Yahoo is also launching the Yahoo Screen mobile app for iPad/iPhone/iPodTouch.

Another new Web comedy has local roots. "Redwood Time" centers on the misadventures of a group of college drama students and was produced on the Carnegie Mellon University campus, using actors from the school's drama department.

The series was created by Clarence Williams IV, a junior drama major at Carnegie Mellon and produced by Mr. Williams and by Jamar Thrasher, who's a graduate student in Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College Public Policy and Management program.

In the premiere, Carter Redwood, a senior in the drama department, plays a young man who's trying to escape from an aggressive young woman he met during a stint at a summer theater.

The first season will have 10 or 11 episodes. The first premieres today. The second is scheduled to post Oct. 4 and new ones will post weekly after that.

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Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865.


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