Oxygen to Tickle Women's Fancy

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Pasadena, Calif. -- Oxygen will seek to tickle the funny bones of young women with a new original scripted series set to launch later this year.

College-themed sitcom Campus Ladies was among several new scripted comedy series announced during the annual Winter Television Critics Association press tour here. Oxygen is attempting to find success in a genre that in the past has served up very few laughs for cable networks. Unlike the drama category, cable in general has struggled to mine ratings success with comedy sitcoms.

"Comedy is difficult on a good day, and cable is not necessarily known for a lot of comedy, but we are a funny place and we have humor in our DNA and our brand," Oxygen president of programming and marketing Debby Beece said. "But this show goes right to the heart of that, and we're very optimistic."

Campus Ladies -- starring comedians Carrie Aizley and Christen Sussin as 40-something housewives who decide to go to college -- will directly target the network's 18-34 female audience, according to Beece.

The show will join dark sophomore comedy series Nighty Night and freshman skein Suburban Shootout -- a British-based comedy similar in nature to ABC's Desperate Housewives -- as laughers on Oxygen's schedule.

“You have to be really brave to do a show like this,” Beece said. “We're bucking all of the trends, but this show is how we see things, and it's us."