Jordan Peele has just signed a first-look deal with Sonar Entertainment for his production company, Monkeypaw Productions. The agreement encompasses all content for television, including digital. The news comes just ahead of the premiere of Peele’s feature directorial debut with horror film “Get Out,” which is already earning rave reviews.
Peele and Keegan-Michael Key created and performed in the Emmy-winning sketch series “Key & Peele,” which concluded a five-season run on Comedy Central in 2015. “Jordan Peele is one of the brightest stars in our business — a true hyphenate — actor, writer, producer and director. We are excited to partner with him and Monkeypaw,” said Sonar CEO Thomas Lesinski.
“I am thrilled to partner with the incredible folks at Sonar Entertainment as they are committed to truly elevated quality content. Especially now as I move into this next chapter in television, my aim is to help develop untapped voices as well as my own dream shows, and continue to push the boundaries of television,” Peele said.
Monkeypaw Productions was founded by Peele in 2012. In TV, Monkeypaw produced “Key & Peele” and is also behind Tracy Morgan’s TBS comedy series, which is set for production later this year.
NBA star and ESPN host Jalen Rose has cast his mother and grandmother for his ABC comedy pilot, Variety has learned. Anna Maria Horsford and Marla Gibbs have signed on to play Rose’s mother and grandmother, respectively, in Rose’s single camera comedy “Jalen vs. Everybody.”
The half-hour follows Rose as he juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad. The project hails from the team behind ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.”Nahnatchka Khan wrote the pilot and will executive produce with Jake Kasdan, Melvin Mar, and Mandy Summers. Aside from starring, Rose will also serve as a producer.
Horsford has a career rich in both comedy and drama, from long roles on FX’s “The Shield” to even lengthier stints starring with Sherman Hemsley in the NBC comedy “Amen” and also in the WB’s “The Wayans Bros.” Gibbs, of course, was a 1980s sitcom staple with “The Jeffersons” and “227.”
TNT has given the greenlight to “Claws,” a nail salon-set dramedy hailing from executive producer Rashida Jones, Variety has learned.
“Claws” follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon in South Florida, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures.
The hourlong series stars Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Harold Perrineau, Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, Jack Kesy, Karrueche Tran, Kevin Rankin and Jason Antoon. TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the first season.
“Claws” Executive Producer Rashida Jones
At the center is salon owner Desna (Nash), who lives with and cares for her mentally ill twin brother, Dean (Perrineau). Desna’s staff includes best friend Jennifer (Lyon), a tenuously sober ex-party girl raising two children from previous relationships; Quiet Ann (Reyes), Desna’s enigmatic driver who also provides security for the salon; Polly (Preston), a mild-mannered preppy who recently served time in prison for identity theft; and Virginia (Tran), who makes no effort to hide her boredom and impatience with her job. Adding chaos to the Nail Artisan mix is Roller (Kesy), a gangstered-out redneck who runs a barely legal pain clinic and uses Desna’s nail salon to launder the obscene profits; Bryce (Rankin), Jennifer’s husband who is also newly sober and trying to stay legit by working as an abundance coach; and Dr. Ken Brickman (Antoon), a bona fide doctor at a decidedly un-bona fide and illegal drug clinic.
The series hails from Le Train Train, Jones’ production company with Will McCormack. The duo will serve as executive producers, along with Janine Sherman Barrois who will also serve as showrunner. The pilot was written by Eliot Laurence, who will serve as co-executive producer, and was directed by Nicole Kassell. Warner Horizon Television and Turner’s Studio T are behind the project with Le Train Train.
“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah will sit-down with President Barack Obama, and their “in-depth” discussion will air on Monday, Dec. 12 on multiple channels such as Comedy Central, MTV and BET.
The interview, which will take place in the White House, will not be the President’s first time on the Comedy Central show. He was interviewed by former host Jon Stewart on the program seven times. He’s also no stranger to the late-night circuit, as he’s appeared on “The Tonight Show” with both Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, “The Colbert Report,”“The Late Show With David Letterman” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Noah has interviewed former President Bill Clinton and the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta. This will be the first time Noah has interviewed President Obama.
After inking a deal with Netflix for two stand-up specials, Chris Rock is going on his first comedy tour in nine years. The announcement came via a Facebook Live video posted to the comedian’s timeline on Monday (December 5).
“Tonight, I am announcing that I, Chris Rock, am going on tour,” he shared while standing outside of Los Angeles’ Comedy Store. “The Total Blackout tour is coming to your town in 2017… First time in nine years, haven’t done it in a while. Been a little busy, You know, writing Pootie Tang 3 and everything. But hey, it’s time.”
As VIBE points out, Rock’s last tour, Kill The Messenger, aired on HBO in 2008.
According to Variety.com, former “The Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore is turning his focus back to writing and producing after his 2016 stint on Comedy Central.
Wilmore recently signed an overall deal with ABC Studios, marking his first major move since his late-night series was cancelled. Under his new multi-year pact, Wilmore will develop his own projects, plus supervise others and work with executives to target talent for the studio.
Wilmore recently helped Issa Rae created“Insecure” for HBO, which was recently renewed for a second season. A comedy veteran, Wilmore also created “The Bernie Mac Show” and “The P.J.’s.” He’s also an executive producer on ABC’s hit sitcom “Black-ish.”
“I’m excited beyond words to be back at ABC and look forward to this creative partnership,” Wilmore said. “Disney took a chance on me as a young writer years ago and so I’m thrilled to return to the Mouse House. I hope my room still looks the same.”
Dave Chappelle has cut a deal with Netflix for three new comedy specials.
The projects will mark Chappelle’s first standup TV specials in 12 years, and it marks another aggressive push by Netflix in the standup comedy arena.
“Dave Chappelle is a legendary voice in comedy — searing, vital, and now more than ever, essential,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of original documentary and comedy. “Dave’s three new specials promise to be some of the most anticipated events in comedy.”
The deal calls for Chappelle and director Stan Lathan to produce an original special for Netflix. Two other unreleased projects will come from Chappelle’s vault — one produced out of the Austin City Limits Live venue, the other from a performance at the Hollywood Palladium.
The projects from the vault are set for release simultaneously next year. There’s no premiere date yet for the new special.
Chappelle is coming off a strong performance earlier this month as host of “Saturday Night Live,” which generated the show’s highest ratings in three years. He is among the most prolific and successful touring comics in country, staging some 500 shows during the past three years.
Netflix made headlines last month by setting a $40 million deal with Chris Rock for two new comedy specials.