Onion YouTube channel picks up “Teachers” comedy series

“Teachers” Katie O’Brien, Katie Thomas, Kate Lambert, Katy Colloton, Caitlin Barlow, Cate Freedman

The Onion YouTube channel has begun running episodes of Teachers, the comedy web series from director Matt Miller and the writer/performers of improv collective The Katydids.

Starring as six young elementary school teachers with issues keeping their personal lives out of the classroom are Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien, and Katie Thomas.

“I happened to see a Forbes article that named teaching as one of the top five most admired professions,” says Miller, a commercial and theater director who teaches acting at DePaul.

“Later that same week I saw an online poll that named teaching as one of the top
five most adulterous and most gossip-ridden professions.  Teachers really sprang from the idea of exploring that duality.  Can you simultaneously be a role model and a derelict?”

Miller had worked with some of the Katydids when he was a casting associate at Paskal Rudnicke, and they quickly signed on for Teachers.  They shot the first season of 24 under-three-minute episodes last July at a north suburban school whose administration asked not to be identified. 

Guest stars have included Cecily Strong, Bruce Jarchow, Nancy McCabe, and Richard Cotovsky.

PJ Fishwick is producer.  Matt Abramson of Cap Gun Collective is executive producer.  Tim Warmanen of Whitehouse Post edited.  DP, Darryl Miller.  Music by Asche & Spencer.

Matt Miller, Teachers creator/directorMiller says The Onion “contacted us out of the blue” in December, and they had a
deal by January.  “Our first three episodes got some nice traffic on YouTube and I think they just found the series online and liked it.” 

Teachers’ own channel has over 500,000 views to date.  “We were—and are—quite flattered that they liked the series enough to put it on their website,” Miller says.  “Huge honor.” 

Now they’re developing a TV package for William Morris Endeavor to shop in LA.  “We also felt like Teachers was eminently TV-worthy and we did have an eye towards spinning the web series into a TV show from the beginning,” Miller says.

As for another season, “I think everyone is game for more,” Miller says.  “I think the Katys have enough material for several more seasons.  We’re all eager to see what happens with the TV stuff first, but hopefully we’ll shoot a season two soon.”