NY firms back Chicago-made TV comedy show “The Jamz”

Co-creator Chris Petlak in a scene from “The Jamz”

If there ever were an “overnight success story,” this is it! Unknown Chicago-made and Chicago-set comedy shorts called “The Jamz” is discovered by New York powerbrokers who fund and produce a TV series and will digitally distributing it worldwide.

The first four half-hour episodes of “The Jamz” will have its world premiere Monday night, April 4 at the Logan Theatre, an invitation only event for the creators, producers, cast and crew, followed by a cast talk-back moderated by Eric Ferguson of 101.9 The Mix.

“The Jamz,” about the exploits of the crew at 101.7 THE JAMZ, Chicago’s (fictional) number one-rated radio station, was created by local actor Jim Kozyra and Chris Petlak, who works at Hubbard Radio. They are the series’ co-EPs, writers and stars. Also in the ensemble cast are Michael Patrick Thornton, Rammel Chan, Tamberla Perry, Emily Peterson, Vincent Teninty and Cedric Young.

Featured actors are movie and TV’s Kathy Najimy and Chicago’s David Pasquesi,improv and TV star.

Director is LA-based Chicago native Ted Tremper; Black Apple’s Angie Gaffney is line producer. Actor / writer Michael C. McCarthy is consulting producer and writer.

Going forward, the writing team will include NYTVF alumni Jo Scott and Jeff Murdoch, who each wrote an episode.

The first four half-hour episodes being premiered were filmed last May at Resolution Production Group’s stages. Quriosity Productions edited and Noise Floor handled sound design. Pascal Rudnicke Casting booked local talent.

New episodes are scheduled to start shooting here in the next few weeks.

“The Jamz” is the first original independent series to be produced by NYTVF Productions, launched in 2015 as an arm of New York Television Festival, serving as a production partner for indie TV artists. It’s also the first TV series funded and distributed by New York headquartered The Orchard, with offices throughout the world.

The series is based on “The Jamz,” the series of web shorts that won having official selection position of the 2014 New York Television Festival.

NYTVF was founded “to guide the work of indie TV artists through evelopment; the ultimate goal being series orders,” says Terence Gray, FYTVF founder / executive director.

“This exceptional cast combined with a unique, independent POV is the perfect mix to ensure this series rises to the challenge,” says Gray.

“Each year, more and more Chicago artists like Jim and Chris submit to New York Television Festival and are given opportunities to both showcase their work and make connections with networks, studios and distributors like The Orchard.

We are proud to have so many members of the cast and crew with Chicago roots, and to have a number of NYTVF alumni involved in the production.”