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'Fake Steve Jobs,' 'Seinfeld' scribe team for Silicon Valley comedy


Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."

The comedy, which will air on the premium cable network Epix, is being pitched by the network as a "riotous satire of Silicon Valley and its most powerful figures." Given that it will be written by Lyons, who created the "Fake Steve" persona, it's likely that the Apple co-founder will be an inevitable topic for the program, though plot details are not yet known.

Ben Kessler, spokesman for Epix, told AppleInsider that "iCon" is currently in pre-production and an air date for the pilot episode has not been determined.

Epix is the result of a collaboration between Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM — a premium, HBO-style network that offers all of its content not only on cable, but via Internet and on mobile devices as well. Kessler said the tech-savvy business model corresponds well to the Silicon Valley satire, though the program will be geared towards a wide audience.

"It will also have that mainstream appeal because Larry Charles, who's produced a ton of amazing shows, is going to be behind it," Kessler said.

In addition to being a staff writer for "Seinfeld," Charles was also involved in the programs "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage." He also directed the films "Borat," "Religulous" and "Bruno," and will bring his directing experience to the pilot episode of "iCon."

"We are attempting to do nothing less than a modern 'Citizen Kane,'" Charles said in a press release. He will also oversee script development of the program. "We needed a bold environment to nurture such a vision. One that was free of pre-conceived ideas. And Epix made it clear they were that place. They asked us to make their home our home. And we have."

Epix launched its channel, video-on-demand and online service on Oct. 30, 2009. The network has access to more than 15,000 movies from its partners' libraries, including titles from Paramount, Lionsgate and United Artists.

"A comedy series by Larry Charles is the perfect complement to the original comedy specials being produced by Epix," Mark Greenberg, president of Epix, said in a press release. "His incomparable sense of humor, along with Dan’s insight will have hilarious results that we can’t wait to see."

Lyons, who is also the technology columnist for Newsweek, made headlines late last year when, as the satirical "Fake Steve Jobs," he promoted an "attack" on the AT&T network due to poor iPhone reception. Dubbed "Operation Chokehold," the coordinated effort suggested by Lyons asked users to run bandwidth intensive applications on their phone at a specific time in order to "overwhelm" the AT&T network. Though the event had no impact on the network, an AT&T spokesman said there was "nothing amusing" about the stunt.

Coincidentally, "iCon" was also the name of a 2005 unauthorized biography of Jobs by author Jeffrey S. Young. Its publication inspired Apple to pull all titles published by John Wiley & Sons from the company's stores. The reaction earned the book free publicity, and caused the publisher to double the title's initial press run and race it to stores a few weeks ahead of schedule.