Construction of the "X-Box"

The TV Wheel is an experimental television project created by Joel Hodgson and produced by his company, Visual Story Tools. It is a sketch comedy show that utilizes a single, stationary camera mounted inside the center of a large rotating platform. The wheel would stop and a sketch would play out, often framed by some piece of appropriate artwork or prop (for the purposes of forced perspective). At the end of the scene, the wheel would rotate, carrying one scene out of the camera's view and bringing another in. Some scenes were self-contained on the platform, while others were open to the studio beyond the platform (and additional action would take place in the background).

Background

Initially ordered by cable network HBO, two pilots were produced. The first, "The X-Box Is Turning" (no relation to the later video gaming console) was written by Hodgson and Steve Higgins (of The Higgins Boys and Gruber). The second was written by Hodgson and a group of others, including Judd Apatow and Paul Feig. HBO passed on the show.

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Comedy Central then stepped in and agreed to air the show uninterrupted (to maintain the flow), with minimal changes from the version produced for HBO. It aired as part of the T.V. Wheel Hour, a special presentation that followed the last new episode of MST3K to be broadcast on that network.

The original pilot was released with behind-the-scenes footage on VHS as X-Box R & D via a commercial at the end of the special.

A number of comedians and writers appear in both The TV Wheel and "The X-Box Is Turning", including Dave (Gruber) Allen, Morwenna Banks, Steve Bannos, David Cross, Paul Feig, Doug Benson, Melissa Samuels and Fred Stoller. In addition, Brian Posehn appears in X-Box and Andy Kindler appears in TV Wheel.

The TV Wheel itself has not been released on home video.

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