A SundanceTV Original Series
Inspired by New York Magazine‘s back page pop culture roundup, hosted by comedian Neal Brennan

“The Approval Matrix” Announces Panelists and Appearances by Amy Poehler, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart

SundanceTV announced today that its newest original non-fiction series, THE APPROVAL MATRIX will premiere Mon., Aug. 11 at 11/10c. Inspired by the celebrated pop culture roundup feature of the same name in the award-winning New York Magazine, the six episode talk show will be hosted by comedian Neal Brennan (Chappelle’s Show, Inside Amy Schumer, The Mindy Project) and executive produced by Rory Albanese (The Daily Show) and Ish Entertainment’s Michael Hirschorn (Best Week Ever) and Wendy Roth (Fix My Family). Each half hour episode is uniquely designed for those both impatient with and fascinated by the pop culture cacophony all around us.  

Each week, Brennan and a rotating panel of celebrity guests will sort through, debate about, and tally up what’s on everyone’s radar. From the highbrow and the lowbrow to what’s brilliant vs. despicable, no topic or commentary is off limits. The series will feature sketches and field pieces as well as one-on-one interviews between Neal and writer and producer Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), television host Jon Stewart (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and comedian Chris Rock (Eat, Drink, Laugh).

The Panelists include:

Jason Biggs — (Actor, Orange is the New Black)
Hannibal Buress — (Comedian, actor Broad City)
Whitney Cummings — (Comedian, actress, Whitney, and showrunner Two Broke Girls)
Rob Delaney — (Comedian, author of Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.)
Judah Friedlander — (Comedian, actor 30 Rock)
Willie Geist — (Co-host, Today Show, Morning Joe)
Julie Klausner — (Correspondent, Vulture, comedian, and host of How Was Your Week podcast)
Kurt Metzger — (Comedian, writer, Inside Amy Schumer)
Jim Norton — (Comedian, radio co-host, The Opie & Anthony Show)
Donnell Rawlings — (Comedian, former cast member of Chappelle’s Show)

“This lively new series aims for the sweet spot between Chelsea Handler and Bill Maher, Wendy Williams and Charlie Rose, providing hilarious and provocative perspective on popular culture,” said Sarah Barnett, President of SundanceTV. ”THE APPROVAL MATRIX curates the keenest and most relevant pop culture issues of our day and delivers it through the irreverent filter of some of comedy’s smartest and funniest personalities.”

“Over the past decade, The Approval Matrix has morphed from an editorial parlor game to something with a life very much of its own — starting cocktail party conversations and the occasional bloody brawl,” said Adam Moss, editor-in-chief of New York magazine. “It’s not really our page anymore — it belongs to the readers — and now we’re excited to share it with television viewers too. SundanceTV is the perfect partner to bring our magazine pseudo-science project to three-dimensional life. We’re looking forward to many half-hours of brilliant television, high-brow and low.”

THE APPROVAL MATRIX is produced by Emmy® award winners Michael Hirschorn and Wendy Roth of Ish Entertainment. Host Neal Brennan is best known as the creative force and executive producer behind Chappelle’s Show, which he developed with Dave Chappelle. In addition to writing and developing multiple comedic sketches, shows and films, Brennan is a well-known personality on the standup comedy circuit. His highly rated Comedy Central special Women and Black Dudes aired in January 2014. Showrunner Rory Albanese is a multi-Emmy® award winning producer. He has executive produced and written for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since its first season in 1999.

SundanceTV’s non-fiction original series explore aspects of our contemporary culture in fresh and surprising ways. THE APPROVAL MATRIX builds on the networks’ programming slate which includes the second season of the lauded series RECTIFY from the producers of Breaking Bad which premiered on Jun. 19. Its highly anticipated original miniseries, THE HONORABLE WOMAN starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, which premieres Jul. 31, the recently announced scripted original mini-series ONE CHILD premiering in late 2014 and the recently announced second season of the innovative nonfiction education experiment DREAM SCHOOL.