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.
“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.
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.”
Comedy Central has picked up freshman late-night entry “The Nightly Show” for another season, ensuring host Larry Wilmore and crew will be in position through the end of 2016.
The Viacom-owned network confirmed details published previously by CNNMoney.com. Wilmore is said to have discussed details of the pickup during a taping of his program on Monday evening. The move keeps Wilmore, who has stood apart from the wee-hours pack by delving into edgy humor about race, gender and culture, on Comedy Central through the 2016 election for U.S. President.
Wilmore and his team, which includes executive producer Rory Albanese, head writer Robin Thede, and contributor Mike Yard, have taken an experimental approach to late-night comedy, showing a willingness to rip up the show’s playbook and try new things. The program provides a sometimes gritty alternative to the broadcast-network options around midnight by having the host explore everything from the sex scandal surrounding Bill Cosby to gang activity in Baltimore.
“Nightly Show” will get a new lead-in on Monday, September 28, whenTrevor Noahtakes over as host of “The Daily Show,” which has been on hiatus since Jon Stewart stepped down in August. Comedy Central’s third late-night offering, “@midnight,” has been airing in the 11 p.m. slot normally accorded “The Daily Show” and will do so for a period of a few weeks.
How do you write jokes for a TV comedy about race and culture when there are riots over how police treat black suspects, and a gunman just shot down nine people in a black church?
If you’re Robin Thede, head writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, you think carefully about where you focus the joke.
“The thing about tragedy, is that it causes people to react in a myriad of ways … [and] some of them are very hilarious,” Thede says, laughing. “You don’t make fun of the actual tragedy. You make fun of the ridiculous ways people react to it.”
Her example: The way some news outlets focused on the involvement of the gang Black Guerilla Family when rioting broke out in Baltimore last April.
“You’ve got people on the news saying ‘Black Guerilla Family’ 4,000 times because they get a kick out of saying ‘gorilla’ when connected to black people,” she says.
That frustration turned into a bit on The Nightly Show — a montage of Fox News anchors saying “Black Guerilla Family,” then Wilmore responding with a choice run of curse words.
“We see that and go, ‘Finally, this is the stuff we can talk about,'” Thede says. “This is the stuff that pisses us off when we’re watching at home, and now we have a voice.”
That voice first emerged in January, when Wilmore’s Nightly Show debuted in the timeslot originally held by Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report.
Wilmore made a bit of history then as the only black man hosting a major late night talk show.
And Thede also made history: She’s the first black woman to serve as head writer for such a show. But she’s quick to counter the notion that The Nightly Show is just a parody of Meet the Press centered on jokes about race.
“For us it’s race, it’s class, it’s gender, it’s disability, it’s anybody that’s an underdog,” she says. “Which to us, is anybody in the right situation. If you’re a white person in the wrong neighborhood, you’re an underdog.”
In the show’s offices in Manhattan, Thede turns her blend of outrage and can-you-believe-it humor into actual jokes. Writers and producers are plopped on couches in her office for a morning meeting about upcoming skits. The wall behind Thede’s desk is dominated by a huge dry-erase board with bits for upcoming shows written out.
There’s excitement in the room, because Morgan Freeman will be stopping by later to record an appearance on the show — one where Wilmore will play an Afro-wigged, platform shoe-wearing host of a ’70s TV show called Soul Daddy.
In choosing Noah, a 31-year-old of mixed-race parentage, Comedy Central is banking that following a tried-and-true formula will keep the program that is arguably the linchpin of its schedule top of mind among its core audience of young male viewers. Twice now, executives at the network have identified an up-and-coming talent, and we’re rewarded on both occasions with a higher profile for the show. Noah will be only the third host of the program, following an early stint by Craig Kilborn and Stewart’s well-chronicled reign.
Noah has “such a unique and powerful voice,” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central’s president, in an interview Monday morning. Executives feel he is “a gifted comedian and storyteller,” she added. “He was not a new face to us, but he will be to a lot of people.” Stewart himself was involved as an “adviser” in the selection process, she said.
Noah has the kind of experience that would seem to be de rigueur for a host of “The Daily Show,” which, under Stewart has not only made fun of headlines of the day, but also of the news outlets that deliver them. Noah has hosted numerous television shows, including his own latenight talk show in his native country, “Tonight With Trevor Noah.” And he is no stranger to analyzing controversial topics. Born in South African to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father, he once told an audience, “I was born a crime,” according to a 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal.
With that sort of willingness to discuss sensitive topics head-on, Noah would appear to fit the bill being written under Kent Alterman, the network’s president of original programming. In the recent past, Comedy Central has sought people able to articulate a unique world view. The network has found success with programs featuring comedienne Amy Schumer as well as Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, a duo who star in the program “Broad City.”
Larry Wilmore debuted Comedy Central’s new Nightly Show on Monday, and the veteran writer, comedian and Daily Show correspondent brought a solid sampling for his first time at bat.
The series premiere attracted 963,000 viewers at 11:30 p.m. and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Any disappointment over Wilmore not cracking 1 million viewers should be taken lightly. The premiere happened on the tail-end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, with a modest 1.2 million lead-in from The Daily Show. Comedy Central’s late-night block, like all of TV, also has been bringing in more and more viewers with time-shifting — and Wilmore stands to grow significantly after people sample throughout the week.
The first outing has been greeted warmly by critics, with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Tim Goodman writing, “As for first impressions, I liked it. Wilmore himself is a smart, funny performer who is no stranger to The Daily Show crowd. Most viewers to his show probably knew what to expect for the most part.”
“The Nightly Show” replaces “The Colbert Report,” whose host will succeed David Letterman at CBS in September.
Wilmore was the “senior black correspondent” for the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and is a respected comedian, writer and producer who says that he is ready to mix it up on late night TV, according to blackamericaweb.com.
Comedy Central’s The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore has found a head writer.
Robin Thede has been tapped to lead Larry Wilmore‘s upcoming late-night show, which replaces The Colbert Report in January when Stephen Colbert segues to CBS’ Late Show.
Thede was most recently head writer on syndicated daytime talker The Queen Latifah Show and also wrote for Chris Rock when he hosted the 2014 BET Awards, as well as the NAACP Image Awards. She was previously a writer on BET’s satirical comedy Real Husbands of Hollywood,which starred Kevin Hart, Boris Kodjoe and Nick Cannon for the first two seasons.
A Second City and Improv Olympic alumna, Thede’s sketch/improv credits includeI n the Flow With Affion Crockett,Mike Epps‘ sketch comedy series Funny Bidness and Clunkers. She has appeared in BET’s Second Generation Wayans, Fox’s Goodwin Games, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland, UPN’s All of Us and Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, in addition to the Marlon Wayans film A Haunted House.
The Minority Report,like the Daily Show and The Colbert Report, aims to provide a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from different perspectives not typically seen on television.
The news comes three months after former The Daily Show showrunner Rory Albanese was tapped to head up the 11:30 p.m. show, reuniting him with Daily Show corespondent Wilmore. Jon Stewart also serves as an executive producer. Wilmore, a veteran producer in his own right, transitioned from his duty as executive producer/showrunner on ABC’s black-ish, which earned a full-season order this week, in September to focus on launching Minority Report.
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s” Larry Wilmore has been tapped to host “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” a new Comedy Central show to air in the 11:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday timeslot currently occupied by soon-to-be “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.
“The Minority Report” premieres in January and promises to “offer a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from unique perspectives not typically on display in late night television.” It was created by Jon Stewart and will be produced by Stewart’s Busboy Prods., with Stewart and Wilmore serving as exec producers.
The selection of the African-American Wilmore breaks up the white-male homogeneity to most of latenight TV. The lack of diversity in the latenight talk-variety show arena has been in focus in recent months amid the generational shift of hosts at NBC (where Jimmy Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in February) and CBS (where Colbert is to succeed David Letterman next year).
“We are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Jon Stewart and Busboy Productions, and are looking forward to the world getting to know Larry Wilmore even better. He’s a spectacular talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central prexy. “‘The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore’ follows in the Comedy Central tradition – bringing new perspectives to the day’s events and breaking ground in the world of late night television.”