Onion News Network

Onion News Network
Onion News Network
Onion News Network logo.jpg
Format Parody
Written by Alexander Blechman
Lang Fisher
John Harris
Peter Koechley
Carol Kolb
Dan Mirk
Michael Pielocik
Will Tracy
Directed by J.J. Adler
Will Graham
Starring Brian Huskey
Suzanne Sena
Kyla Grogan
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel IFC
Original run January 21, 2011 (2011-01-21) – present
External links

Onion News Network is a parody television news show. The show premiered its ten-episode first season on January 21, 2011, at 10:00 p.m. EST on IFC.[1][2][3]

In March 2007, The Onion launched The Onion News Network, a daily web video broadcast that had been in production since sometime in mid-2006,. The Onion invested about $1 million in production and hired 15 staffers to focus on the venture.[4] Carol Kolb, former Editor-in-Chief of The Onion is the ONN's head writer; and Will Graham is the showrunner and Executive Producer. It is implied that on-air that ONN and the show "FactZone with Brooke Alvarez" is "simulcasted" on IFC Friday Nights at 10pm ET.

IFC announced that it has renewed Onion News Network for a second season on March 22, 2011.[5] Season two premiered on October 4, 2011.[6]

It was announced on November 14, 2011 that "Onion News Network" was moved back to Friday Nights at 10pm ET as part of of its "IFC Always on Fridays" block of shows. Season 1 aired on Friday nights at 10pm before moving to Tuesdays for the first 3 episodes of Season 2 and has moved back to Friday nights beginning with the November 18, 2011 episode



  • Suzanne Sena - Brooke Alvarez
  • Todd Alan Crain - Tucker Hope #8 (Season 1)
  • Ryan Blackwell - Tucker Hope #9 (Season 2)
  • Matt Oberg - Tucker Hope #10 (Season 2)*
  • Brian Huskey - Duncan Birch
  • Klea Blackhurst - Shelby Cross
  • Dorothi Fox - Nancy Fichandler
  • John Cariani - Michael Falk
  • Malachy Cleary - David Barrodale
  • Esther David - Jane Carmichael
  • Peak Kwinarian - Brandon Armstrong (Former ONN Newsroom anchor, Died on 10/25/2011 episode of season 2)
  • Chauntee Schuler - Angelique Clark
  • Michele Ammon - Jean Anne Whorton
  • Kyla Grogan - Andrea Bennett
  • Jill Dobson - Madison Daly
  • George Riddle - Joad Cressbeckler
  • Aaron Lazar - O'Brady Shaw (season 2)

Matt Oberg is currently the only actor to appear on two shows produced by The Onion. Oberg portrayed Mark Shepard in Onion SportsDome which aired on Comedy Central until its cancellation in June 2011 and currently portraying the "tenth" Tucker Hope on IFC's "Onion News Network"


Rachel Maddow and Mike Huckabee appeared as themselves in the fourth episode.[7] Ben Stiller appeared as himself on episode 9, in a fake PSA for "Shaken Man-Child Syndrome"[8] Glenn Beck appeared as himself on the November 1, 2011 episode involving a fictional PBS Frontline documentary about Brooke Alvarez's checkered past which in part may explain her on-air icy demeanor. Glenn stated that while auditioning for the part of anchor of "FactZone", He implied that Alvarez cut off his brakes and his car ended up in a ditch. [9] Ted Allen appeared on the "Today Now!" special, showing how to cook a dish from his new book "Pretentious Foodie Bullshit." [10]

News shows

To further invoke the atmosphere of a 24-hour network, The Onion News Network video series includes items lifted from what are ostensibly ONN news shows and continuing reports:

  • Factzone with Brooke Alvarez: Factzone is the main parody show on ONN, made to look like a regular news show such as CNN's NewsRoom. It is hosted by Brooke Alvarez (played by Suzanne Sena), a news anchor who exudes a position of power and fear, and it is alluded to all the time that Brooke's position is very powerful and although she considers herself an excellent newswoman, she is actually very egotistical, thinking of herself very highly.
  • Today Now!: TN! is a parody of morning lifestyle and news programs such as NBC's Today show and ABC's Good Morning America. Hosted by Jim Haggerty (played by former New York City TV anchor Brad Holbrook) and Tracy Gill (played by Tracy Toth), the style is typical of the breezy style often found in morning network television shows, with the presenters either uncritical or completely oblivious to the subject matter presented, regardless of the absurdity of the subject (e.g., Haggerty's earnest question about whether or not an omelet recipe strictly requires a metal shoe-horn to measure the butter into the pan).[11]
  • In The Know with Clifford Banes: A parody of Sunday morning pundit shows, ITK is supposedly hosted by Clifford Banes, who never actually appears on his own program due to a continuous succession of absurd or improbable circumstances; instead, the show is led by a guest host who explains why Mr. Banes cannot attend (e.g. "... filling in for Clifford Banes who is wandering along I-97 in a bathrobe with no memory of who he is").[12] An Onion-style current political event is examined earnestly by ITK's pundit panel from every angle, regardless of how odd it might seem.
  • Beyond The Facts: A parody of evening news channels' wildly popular news magazine programs. "BTF" is hosted by ONN's Jean Anne Whorton (a Diane Sawyer parody played by actress Michele Ammon), a former ONN prime-time anchor known for her compassionate interviewing skills and her "great hair". Whorton has received three Gracie Awards (American Women in Radio and Television National Awards), and goes in-depth, exploring the soft underbelly of issues while nodding thoughtfully at the real story behind the headline.
  • Eye on the Nation: A parody of the "Across America" segments from Fox News Channel's Fox Report. "Eye on the Nation", despite claiming to focus on stories from one of ONN's over 2,000 owned-and-operated television affiliates in the United States, they only air stories from "WONN-TV, ONN 5" based in (fictional) Pennington, Illinois.
  • Cross Examination with Shelby Cross: A parody of HLN host and former legal prosecutor Nancy Grace. Shelby (played by Klea Blackhurst) is a takes no prisoner host of "Cross Examination" and will go to no end in her quest for justice. In her ONN bio, "Whether she's berating a grieving mother for allowing her infant son to get murdered or advising viewers on how to make themselves unappealing to date rapists, Shelby Cross has your back."
  • War For The White House: ONN's continuing coverage of Election '08, opening with a dramatic video apparently depicting Air Force One and a squadron of fighter planes seemingly attacking the White House, mocking the intense, over-the-top style that seems to have become typical in straight news coverage. Notable for its consistent use of military terminology (e.g. "Election Analysis Bunker") and deadpan style.
  • ONN-International: A parody of CNN-International, ONNI debuted November 2008. Boasting coverage in 152 languages over 811 countries and with 9 billion viewers, ONN-International presents news from around the world often with subtitles such as this story from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • OSN: A reference to ESPN, OSN usually features clips from SportsDome, a parody of ESPN's SportsCenter. The clips usually focus on specific parodies of SportsCenter segments such as the Budweiser Hot Seat, which becomes The Steam Room on OSN. Hosts present in the jocular style synonymous with ESPN, and sportscasters on sets that are near-identical knockoffs of the SportsCenter studios. On January 11th, 2011, cable network Comedy Central launched the "Onion Sportsdome", an off-shoot of the OSN feature, marking the first time an ONN feature became a full-fledged television series. "Get Out Of My Face" (a.k.a. GOOMF) is a parody of Pardon the Interruption, currently on the Onion's website.
  • O'Brady Shaw: Gut Check: A reference to Anderson Cooper and his CNN show AC360. He is touted as a "rising star" on ONN and his show would "follow" FactZone with Brooke Alvarez on ONN. Brooke has shown on-air disgust towards Shaw and his reporting, hinting that she may be jealous of Shaw's career and showed displeasure over airing a promo during her show.
  • ONN Newsroom: Is a parody of breaking news segments that appear during commercial breaks or replays on 24-hour news networks. News Room, anchored by Andrea Bennett and Glen Bannon (a name check to Jeff Gannon of Talon News) is set in the fictional cable news network's news room with TV's and switchboards in the background. Brandon Armstrong, a former ONN Newsroom anchor died in a brothel fire and was ONN's longest-tenured presenter.
  • Raw Justice: A parody of news channels' popular documentaries on attention-grabbing crimes. It looks into ordinary crimes, although the reporter always finds a way to relate a story to the culprit's sexual actions such as "Man had sex with wife thousands of times before killing her".[13]
  • The Cressbeckler Stance: A parody of prime-time news commentary shows such as Hannity and Huckabee. Features commentary on political issues by Joad Cressbeckler, a character first introduced as a third-party presidential candidate, an even more "grizzled and ornery" alternative to John McCain, in a War For The White House segment.[14]

After a commercial, each item is capped off by a teaser featuring a headline joke. The news reports also have a news crawl filled with joke headlines.

International airdates

  •  Australia - The program premiered on The Comedy Channel in October 2011


  1. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (March 22, 2010). "Fake Area Newspaper Gets Real Television Show". The New York Times. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/fake-area-newspaper-gets-real-television-show/. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ Luippold, Ross (December 4, 2010). "IFC Picks Up 'Onion News Network,' 90s Cult Comedy Series". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/04/ifc-picks-up-cult-comedies_n_791895.html. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ Whipp, Glenn (January 15, 2011). "The Onion makes big TV push". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118030286. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Press ‘Play’ for Satire: March 23, 2007 The Wall Street Journal Article". March 23, 2007. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117459985897745975-mETUwZECHpnJSRMSyaQqQUA9x8A_20070421.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top. 
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 22, 2011). "IFC Renews "Onion News Network," Greenlights Four New Original Series". TVbythenumbers.com. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/03/22/ifc-renews-onion-news-network-greenlights-four-new-original-series/86693. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.ifc.com/onn
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4De1ZuuCjE
  9. ^ Glenn Beck on Brooke Alvarez
  10. ^ http://www.theonion.com/video/celebrity-chef-ted-allen-cooks-his-favorite-preten,26571/ Celebrity Chef Ted Allen Cooks His Favorite Pretentious Foodie Bullshit Meal
  11. ^ "Chef Cooks 'Dream Omelet' From Recipe That Came To Him In A Dream". The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/content/video/chef_cooks_dream_omelet_from. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  12. ^ "Report: Baby Skull Jewelry May Be Linked To Violence". The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/video/report-baby-skull-jewelry-may-be-linked-to-violenc,14402/. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  13. ^ "Crime Reporter: Man Had Sex With Wife Thousands Of Times Before Killing Her". The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/video/crime-reporter-man-had-sex-with-wife-thousands-of,14395. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  14. ^ "Old, Grizzled Third-Party Candidate May Steal Support From McCain". The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/video/old-grizzled-thirdparty-candidate-may-steal-suppor,14264/. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 

External links

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