Barenaked Ladies' engaging blend of music and comedy is coming to television.

Barenaked Ladies' engaging blend of music and comedy is coming to television. Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered a pilot presentation for a comedy/variety show starring the members of Canadian group, known for its playful music style of tongue-in-cheek humor, pop culture lyrics and upbeat tempos.

Tentatively titled "The Barenaked Ladies Variety Show," the project is set to expand upon the comedy sketches that have become a staple of Barenaked Ladies' concerts along with the quintet's humorous stage banter and improv bits with the audience.

The five band members -- Steven Page, Kevin Hearn, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan and Ed Robertson -- will star in the skits as exaggerated versions of themselves, joined by guest actors. The show, in which all elements will be connected by a story line running through each episode, also will include musical performances by the group and musical guests.

Because there will be a strong element of improvisation on the show, the script will be designed to create a structure for the episodes, giving Page, Hearn, Stewart, Creeggan and Robertson a lot of room to ad-lib.

"This is a natural expansion to their live experience," says co-executive producer John Ziffren. "We are trying to capture that energy and make it into a TV show."

Co-executive producer Ann Maney, who had been pursuing Barenaked Ladies to do a TV show ever since she first saw them in concert 10 years ago, says the experience of working with them is beyond what she had hoped it would be. "They are a joy," she said. "They have great instincts, and they are tremendously talented guys who have wonderful ideas."

As previously reported, BNL will release a collection of seasonal music, "Barenaked for the Holidays," Oct. 5 via The End of Records/Nettwerk/Reprise.