April 18, 2013 11:00am PT by Lacey Rose
Wanda Sykes Inks First-Look Deal at NBC's Alternative Studio
NBC is entering into the Wanda Sykes business.
In a bid to beef up its content options, Universal TV's alternative studio has inked a first-look deal with Sykes and Page Hurwitz's Push It Productions. "We are very excited to be working with NBCUniversal. We have partnered with a terrific team, and we're looking forward to getting started," Hurwitz noted of the deal, with Sykes quipping: "Wait, I thought we were getting The Tonight Show."
The move comes nearly a year after NBCU announced that it had signed development deals with eight unscripted producers -- or, as reality chief Paul Telegdy put it at the time, "stacked the deck." Among the latter: Jason Ehrlich (The Bachelor), David A. Hurwitz (Fear Factor), Lee Metzger (The Voice) and former NBC executive vp alternative programming, development and specials Craig Plestis (Minute to Win It). More recently, former Comedy Central exec-turned-producer Lou Wallach inked an overall deal at the studio, where he will develop, produce and consult on comedies of different formats.
In addition to Sykes' stand-up act, the three-time Emmy winner has garnered consistent TV gigs, including a recent return to HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, two star vehicles (Fox’s The Wanda Sykes Show, Comedy Central’s Wanda Does It) and a collection of comedy specials. She has lent her distinctive voice to such animated features as Ice Age: Continental Drift (Granny) and Rio (the Goose) as well. For her part, Hurwitz counts among her wide-ranging credits OWN’s The Rosie Show, Last Comic Standing and NBC’s The Marriage Ref.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose