Black judges pop culture for Comedy

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Comedy Central has picked up a new pop-culture debate series starring Lewis Black.

The show, titled "The Root of All Evil," aims to put "pop culture on trial," the network said. It features Black as moderator pitting two celebrities or pop culture topics -- such as Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney or YouTube vs. porn -- against each other in an open debate setting in which rotating comedians argue over which is most evil. Black will make the final decision.

"Who better to serve as the great decider for all that is evil than Lewis Black?" said Lauren Corrao, executive vp original programming and development at Comedy Central.

Corrao noted that Black has been a "mainstay" on the network with hosting gigs, stand-up specials and "Back in Black" segments on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." She said "Root" will showcase his "insight and personality."

The network has ordered eight half-hour episodes for a March premiere.

Black also is executive producing with Scott Carter and David Sacks. Jo Anne Astrow and Mark Lonow are the co-executive producers.

"I am thrilled to become a part of popular culture by being the self-proclaimed decider of what is evil in our popular culture," Black said. "And by the end of the show's run, I will no doubt have to judge myself."

The actor-comedian -- who performs more than 200 nights a year in the U.S., Canada, Europe and New Zealand -- recently appeared in the films "Man of the Year," "Accepted" and "Unaccompanied Minors." He is working on a second book, expected next year, to follow 2005's "Nothing's Sacred."

He is repped by APA and attorneys Jon Moonves and Loan Dang.
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