Channel 101 is a monthly event wherein people from the Los Angeles area and beyond congregate in a theatre to get drunk and watch a selected number of pseudo-TV shows.
After the night's proceedings, the votes are tallied and the five highest scored shows become "Prime Time" shows, which means the creators have the opportunity to submit a new episode the following month, until the audience has enough, which is when the show becomes cancelled. Pilots that do not make the top five are considered failed pilots. The creators are invited to submit a new pilot next month.
Submitted shows must be five minutes in duration (or less). Anyone can submit a pilot, but not all pilots are shown to the audience. A panel of judges, comprised of current prime-timers, select which pilots are to be shown and which are not. If a pilot is not selected, the creator/s may call a "Chauncey", which is a vote of no confidence in the panel's decision. The pilot is shown to the audience, but they have the ability to "cough it off" if they don't like what they see.
Here is a brief history of Channel 101 taken from: http://www.channel101.com/about/index.php:
1999: After creating Heat Vision and Jack for the FOX network, Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab are banished from legitimate television.
2000: Rob Schrab makes a series of home movies about eating poop and having sex with babies. Dan Harmon, not to be outdone, makes a movie about Chris Tallman coming back from the dead and raping him in the ass.
2001: An innocent lunchtime decision to rent a bad film leads to a creative challenge: Attendees of that night's screening of Jaws 4 in Rob Schrab's living room must bring their own "prediction" of Jaws 4's storyline, in the medium of their choice. To complement the puppet shows, poems and mix tapes, Rob Schrab offers up a video featuring his own penis in the lead role and a DV revolution begins.
2002: A "Fresh Horses" challenge is issued and a slightly larger circle of friends participates, outgrowing Schrab's living room. For the "Creepshow" challenge, a larger living room is acquired but over 100 people show up. The "Batman" challenge takes place in the back room of a Los Angeles nightclub but the audience keeps growing and strangers begin asking for the "name of the festival" so that they can submit.
2003: Harmon and Schrab "name the festival" the Super Midnight Movie Show and make some decisions: For ease of coordination, the show will be monthly, and, for audience safety (from Scott Chernoff), the videos will be limited to five minutes in length. Two Super Midnight Movie shows are done at Improv Olympic West: The "Music Video" challenge and "Saturday Morning Challenge." Then, Harmon asks one of the employees why she's "being such a cunt" and they stop doing the show.
Harmon and Schrab soon grow to miss the monthly event and they analyze the situation. The problem with the Super Midnight Movie show was that once it got too big, some creators would have to be rejected. Either that, or a large percentage of the show has to be crap, the problem with that being that the audience will stop coming if they lose faith in your judgment. Schrab, a genius at avoiding responsibility, comes up with the idea of making the audience responsible, and over the course of that afternoon, he and Harmon devise some very simple rules and give the show a new identity: Channel 101. No longer a show, in fact. A living, autonomous, untelevised TV network, powered not by promise of reward to the artist, but by the artist's desire to reward the audience.
Channel 101 reaches a much larger audience via its website (http://www.channel101.com). The prime time shows are uploaded every month, as well as all the failed pilots that were screened.
Some of the longer running 101 shows include:
Laser Fart: created by Dan Harmon. A classic supehero tale about a guy who shoots lasers from his ass after he eats a burrito from a faulty microwave.
Time Belt: created by Chris Tallman. A dude has tinfoil belt that allows him to travel through time. Stuff happens to him.
Twigger's Holiday: created by Rob Schrab. Totally wacked out kid's show about a kid named Twigger (Schrab) and his barking box-headed friend Josh.
The 'Bu: created by The Dudes from The Lonely Island (a.k.a. Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone). Teen drama in the style of The O.C. Lots of pretty people and cardboard sets.
Computerman: created by Dan Harmon. Probably one of the most high-profile shows, due mainly to the casting of Jack Black as a computer.
Gregory Shitcock, P.I.: created by Wade Randolph and Drew Hancock. A private investigator has a funny name. Oh yeah, he's also in a wheelchair. His partner has a moustache.
Some shows of note that may not have run for as long:
Utopia: created by Ryan Ridley. A take on the Orwellian model of the future. Great acting and scriptwriting.
House of Cosbys: created by Justin Roiland. A cartoon about a guy who builds a cloning machine and decides to clone Bill Cosby a number of times. Cancelled due to Bill Cosby's lawyers threatening legal action.
Documentary: The Series: created by Justin Roiland. A great take on reality TV. Two guys with two camera crews follow each other around and document one another.
Sockbaby: created by Doug Tennapel (of Earthworm Jim & The Neverhood fame). A cool guy with a big medallion and a cyborg are charged with the duty of protecting a little sock puppet. Great fight scenes.
Some failed pilots of note:
Terence vs. Reuben: created by Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. Two raging queens are mortal enemies. They fight using their partners as weapons.
Shitbuster: created by Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. A guy busts people taking shits. Busted!
The Jogger: created by Mike McCafferty. A one-take show wherein a guy goes for a jog and solves a crime on the way.
President Cops: created by Tyler Spiers and Joe Davidson. Abe Lincoln and George W. Bush team up to fight crime in modern-day LA.
Some of the current prime time shows, as of the time of this writeup, include:
Rock Gods of Rock: created by Vatche Panos and Myke Chilian. A perverted take on anime shows.
The Most Extraordinary Space Investigations: created by Dan Harmon, Sevan Najarian and Justin Roiland. A low-rent sci-fi show where all the actors are either stoned or drunk off their tits. Guest stars Sarah Silverman, and a Mexican guy named Moses.
Yacht Rock: created by J.D. Ryznar, Hunter Stair and Lane Farnham. Chronicles the journey of Yacht Rock legends and Lords of The Smooth Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Guests include Steely Dan, Steve Perry, Hall and Oates and Harold Ramis. Proabably the smartest and funniest show in all of Channel 101 history.
Channel 101 History taken from: http://www.channel101.com/about/index.php