EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is expanding its late-night block with a new show hosted by comedian/producer Chris Hardwick and co-produced by Funny Or Die. The untitled show, which will launch in the fall, will air four nights a week at midnight, following The Colbert Report, giving the network a 11 PM-12:30 AM block anchored by The Daily Show. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will serve as executive producers/showrunners on the Chris Hardwick show, returning to Comedy Central, where they co-created and starred on the cult series Reno 911! The show, Comedy Central’s first midnight strip, will be formatted as a comedic panel show that will have a heavy social-media presence integrated throughout. It is produced by Comedy Central and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die, with Brillstein Entertainment Partners expected to executive produce along with Serious Business (Alex Blagg, Jason Nadler, Jon Zimelis) and Nerdist Industries, Hardwick and Peter Levin’s production company for multi-platform genre and pop culture content. In addition to the 11:30 PM broadcast late-night talk shows, Comedy Central’s Chris Hardwick program will face another new midnight cable strip — TBS’ series toplined by comedian Pete Holmes, which also is slated to launch in the fall and air four nights a week.
The Chris Hardwick show expands Hardwick’s relationship with Comedy Central, where he headlined his own stand-up special and a pop culture/tech pilot last year. It also marks the latest high-profile hosting gig for Hardwick, who started off on MTV’s Singled Out and currently hosts AMC’s The Walking Dead aftershow, Talking Dead. Nerdist has a deal with AMC, where it is developing All Celebrity Bowling, and just received a pilot order from Nat Geo for In The Name Of Science. Funny Or Die is producing IFC’s upcoming miniseries The Spoils Of Babylon starring Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig. In addition to their TV credits, Lennon and Garant have built a strong feature resume, writing such films as the hit Night At The Museum franchise. They recently wrote and directed the Sundance entry Hell Baby, and Lennon co-stars in NBC’s Sean Hayes comedy pilot, which is expected to go to series.
Darko Entertainment and Principato-Young will produce Hell Baby, a comedy scripted by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant that will mark the co-directing debut of the Night At The Museum writers. Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb will star as an … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Night At The Museum co-writer Robert Ben Garant has just been set by Disney to write Tux, an adaptation of the Japanese graphic novel Tuxedo Gin. The film will be produced by Principato-Young’s Paul Young and Peter Principato, VIZ Media’s Jason Hoffs, and Shogakukan’s Ichiro Takase. The rights to the Tokihiko Matsuura-created Japanese property, which were controlled by Shogakukan in Japan and VIZ Media in the US, took almost two years to close. The talks actually started before Rich Ross and Sean Bailey took over the studio.
Ross and Bailey have been veering away from talking animal films but made an exception here. The graphic novel has that element, but there is also a gritty storyline. The protagonist is a young street fighter who falls into a coma and learns that he has lived his life so selfishly that he only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less. Trapped in the body of a chin-strap penguin, he tries to overcome the humiliation and rack up enough good deeds to get his old body back and save the girl he loves. Read More »
In what will be the first new production for the reconstituted MGM, the studio has set Vin Diesel to star in and produce The Machine. The action-comedy is being produced by Diesel’s One Race Films along with Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. They wrote the script. MGM will next set a director and start production in the fall.
Diesel will play a human-like machine created in secrecy by the Pentagon to be the world’s first ultimate weapon. Some 20 years after the machine was decommissioned and buried, The Machine is discovered, reactivated and befriended by a kid. When the government learns that The Machine is back in operation, the ultimate weapon’s mission becomes to protect the family that is harboring him. Lennon and Garant’s scripts include the Night at the Museum franchise and The Pacifier, the latter of which starred Diesel and was made by Spyglass. Since Spyglass’s Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman are calling the shots at MGM, it is a re-team across the board. I’m told the tone of the movie is somewhat similar to Iron Giant, the animated film with a protagonist that was voiced by Diesel. The hope is to create a franchise. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: When you’ve covered film projects as long as I have, you can only wish to come across project log lines you haven’t heard a million times before. My wish has been granted by the Summit Entertainment comedy The Wee … Read More »
UPDATED: At the opening of FX’s executive session, president John Landgraf announced a 13-episode second season pickup of Louis C.K.’s new comedy series Louie five weeks into the show’s freshman run. Additionally, FX has greenlighted Alabama, a comedy pilot co-created and starring Reno 911! masterminds Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. The … Read More »