Seven Comics Join Cast Of New Improv Comedy Series "Riot" Premiering Tuesday, May 13, On FOX
April 8, 2014 - This hilarious thrill ride will knock you off your feet as Australian comedian Rove McManus and seven accomplished comics join RIOT, which will premiere on Tuesday, May 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) following the season finale of GLEE on FOX.
Executive-produced by Shine America and Steve Carell’s Carousel Television, RIOT features a group of regular players – including John Ross Bowie, Jamie Denbo, Brian Palermo, Jordan Black, Jessica McKenna, Meryl Hathaway and Rob Gleeson – improvising a series of showdowns designed to test mind and body. Throughout the show, the players must think on their feet as they face unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show’s trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22 degree angle.
Each week, special celebrity guest stars also will be featured. Confirmed guest stars include Carell, Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), D.L. Hughley (“The Original Kings of Comedy”), Cheryl Hines (“Suburgatory”), Tom Green (“Tom Green Live”), Chris Kattan (“Saturday Night Live”), Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”), David Arquette (“Pushing Daisies,” “Never Been Kissed”), Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Andy Dick (“The Andy Dick Show’), Orlando Jones (SLEEPY HOLLOW, “MADtv”), Nicole Sullivan (“Cougar Town”), Michael Ian Black (“Burning Love”), Will Sasso (“The Three Stooges”), Andy Buckley (“The Office”) and Rob Delaney (“Key and Peele”).
RIOT is produced by Shine America and Steve Carell’s Carousel Television. Thom Hinkle, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Jim Biederman and Carell serve as executive producers. Originally created by Arthur Essebag, RIOT is based on “Anything Goes,” a format from French-based production company Satisfaction – The Television Agency, and is distributed globally by Shine International.
“Like” RIOT on Facebook at facebook.com/RIOTonFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @RIOTonFOXand join the discussion using #riot. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @RIOTonFOX.
Rove McManus started his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian, but went on to become Australia’s most successful talk show host. McManus got his first TV gig on public access television, hosting his own late-night show, “The Loft,” with a budget of $50 a week. He hit the primetime schedule in 2000 with “Rove Live” on Network Ten, after a brief late-night stint on the Nine Network in 1999. “Rove” continued on the Ten Network as a weekly, live talk/comedy show and made McManus Australia’s most popular television personality, until he called it quits in 2009 and re-located to Los Angeles. In 2011 and 2012, McManus hosted two seasons of “Rove LA,” recorded in the U.S. for Australia’s FOX-8 and TV Guide Network (U.S.).
McManus has talked to some of the planet’s biggest names, including Hugh Jackman, John Travolta, Steve Carell, Matt Damon, Will Ferrell, Justin Timberlake and U2. He continues to maintain his stand-up comedy, touring nationally and appearing at the 2010 and 2013 Just For Laughs Festivals in Montreal. McManus has also been a three-time recipient of Australia’s most prestigious television award, the oddly named Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality. McManus is currently based in Los Angeles, where he was a regular on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” presenting his “Rove Across America” segment. Rove and his wife, Tasma Walton, recently welcomed the arrival of their first child, daughter Ruby.
John Ross Bowie plays “Barry Kripke” on “The Big Bang Theory.” Other TV credits include: “Episodes,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “RENO 911!,” two out of three “CSIs” and the role of “Sven the Seahorse” on “Sofia the First.” His film work includes “The Heat,” “He's Just Not That Into You,” “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and “The Santa Clause 3.” Bowie started studying with the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in 1998 and has appeared in hundreds of shows at both its L.A. and New York theaters. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Jamie Denbo, and their two children.
Jamie Denbo has appeared on “Parks & Recreation,” “Comedy Bang Bang,” “Terriers,” “Episodes,” “Weeds,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and many other TV series. She also was featured in the film “The Heat.” The U.K.'s Sky Atlantic network recently shot and aired six episodes of Denbo's ongoing show, “Ronna & Beverly,” with Jessica Chaffin, which continues to play to packed houses at UCB Theatre in Los Angeles and other venues all over the country. The “Ronna & Beverly” biweekly podcast also can be heard on Earwolf and iTunes. Denbo spent two years performing improv comedy at the Comedy Warehouse at Walt Disney World's Pleasure Island in Orlando, FL. She then performed and taught at New York City's Chicago City Limits (both Resident and National Touring Company) for several years. She also performed and taught at the original UCB Theatre in New York City. Her first original one-woman show, “Pixie Chick” (directed by Amy Poehler), was an official selection for the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO. Her second show, “Rennie!,” won first place in the 15 Minutes of FEM competition in Los Angeles. It chronicles her true-life experiences working on the Renaissance Festival circuit.
Brian Palermo is an American character actor and comedian. He has appeared in a number of television shows, commercials and movies. He is also a writer whose credits include “Histeria!,” “Dave The Barbarian,” “The Weekenders” and the upcoming “Puss In Boots” series for Netflix. His film credits include “The Social Network,” “My Life In Ruins,” “Daddy Day Care” and “Big Momma's House,” among others. Television credits include “Modern Family,” “2 Broke Girls,” “The League,” “Entourage,” “Friends,” “Gary, Unmarried,” “90210,” “Zeke and Luther,” “The Middle,” “State of Georgia,” “Will & Grace,” “Digimon Data Squad,” “Malcolm In The Middle” and many others. Palermo appeared numerous times on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” mostly as a comedic field correspondent. He has also appeared as “Phil,” a recurring character on Tyler Perry's “House of Payne,” who adopts a fake French accent and persona as “Phillipe.” Palermo is a member of the improvisational and sketch comedy group The Groundlings, based in Hollywood, CA. He has performed alongside many well-known comedians, including Will Ferrell, Eddie Izzard and Harland Williams. Palermo was born and raised in New Orleans.
Jordan Black is an American comedy writer and actor born and raised in Kankakee, IL. Black is a former writer for “Saturday Night Live,” and has starred in such shows as “Halfway Home” “Punk'd” and “On The Spot.” He has appeared on several television shows, such as “How I Met Your Mother,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Key and Peele.” He also has been featured on “Community” as City Community College’s “Dean Spreck.” Black is an alumnus of the Groundlings, a Los Angeles-based improvisational and sketch comedy troupe and theater. Although he retired from the theater’s Main Stage Company in the mid-2000s, Black created and regularly performs in the Groundlings’ hugely successful improv show, “The Black Version.”
Jessica McKenna was born in Richard Nixon's hometown of Yorba Linda, CA. She has a bachelor's degree in theater from Northwestern University, where she first studied improv as a member of The Titanic Players and Mee Ow. She currently performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, as a member of house sketch and improv teams, as well as with her two-person musical sketch group, Animal Rhymes. McKenna also is an actor, director and teaching artist with the Story Pirates, an award-winning children's theater company that takes stories written by kids and turns them into an awesome show.
Meryl Hathaway is an actress, writer, dancer and improviser from Rockville, MD. A graduate of The Ohio State University, she has appeared in many national commercials, as well as in videos for Funny or Die, College Humor and Upright Citizens Brigade. She is the co-creator, star, director and editor of her self-produced web series, “Single Siblings” and the six-part series, “Winnie: A Sister's Story,” on Funny or Die, in which she played a fictionally obsessed sister to her doppelgänger, Minnie Driver. She has studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatres both in New York and Los Angeles.
Rob Gleeson has played characters on a number of TV shows, including “How I Met Your Mother,” “iCarly,” “Ben and Kate” and others. Currently, Gleeson has a recurring role on the third season of “House of Lies.” He performs stand-up and improv around Los Angeles and regularly tours the country doing comedy at colleges. Gleeson has a podcast, “Goof City,” available on iTunes and Stitcher.