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SNL alumni’s Documentary Now! mockumentary begins three-year run on IFC Thursday

All-star mockumentary, Documentary Now!, featuring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader (with Seth Meyers producing), will launch this Thursday on IFC, and the network has already solidified plans for a second and third season. Acting vet Helen Mirren, who has said she is a Portlandia fan, will host the parody series. While referencing prominent documentaries like Grey Gardens and Errol Morris’ The Fog of War, the comedians will portray fake tales from their always-creative imaginations.

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Slated episodes, which were shot in a variety of documentary film styles, include “an intimate portrait of socialite mother-daughter feral animal hoarders” and a “behind-the-scenes look at the world’s first documentary,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

To make the show a reality, the three Saturday Night Live vet comedians worked with other SNL mainstays. The series was co-created and produced by Rhys Thomas, and directed by Thomas and Alex Buono.

“The two-season renewal ahead of the show’s initial debut is a huge nod to the creative and comedic genius of Fred, Bill and Seth,” said IFC president Jennifer Caserta in a statement. “We’re immensely proud of what they’ve created alongside [producer] Rhys and thrilled with the buzz and critical acclaim the show is already receiving.”

To garner initial buzz for the series, which has been in production for two years, IFC is streaming the second episode of Documentary Now! (teaser clip above) on VICE.com, IFC.com, YouTube, VOD, and TV Everywhere for free until August 27.

Expect a series of guest cameos — including Jack Black, John Slattery, Irving Azoff, and a variety of SNL members — in season one’s seven episodes. We’re particularly looking forward to the two-part season finale, Gentle & Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee, which delves into the life of a soft rock band.

Documentary Now! premieres August 20 at 10 p.m. on IFC.