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Epix to Launch Monthly Comedy Showcase 'Epix Comedy Unbound'

Epix Logo - P 2012

The premium TV network joint venture is doubling down on comedy with specials featuring Jim Norton, Lewis Black, Sherri Shepherd and Kevin Smith, among others.

Premium TV network Epix is doubling down on comedy and launching a monthly comedy showcase called Epix Comedy Unbound, which will air the last weekend of every month.

It will kick off with original comedy event Jim Norton: Please Be Offended with a 10pm premiere on June 30.

“Since the launch of the network, we have had great success with our original comedy specials with strong response and demand from our viewers across all platforms,” said Epix president and CEO Mark Greenberg. “We are deepening our commitment to comedy by featuring the best of today’s stand-up comedians in our showcase and giving them free reign to push the envelope and bring our viewers uncensored comedy the way it was meant to be seen.”

Epix, a joint venture of Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, said the new series will build on a roster of comedians who have previously had specials on the entertainment service. Returning to the network with new specials will be the likes of Lewis Black and Kevin Smith.

Comedians new to Epix who will be featured in the monthly series include Australian stand-up Jim Jefferies, Sherri Shepherd and Eddie Griffin.

Big comedy events are also expected to be a part of the monthly showcase, such as the annual All-Star Comedy Roundtable presented by Ben Stiller featuring Chris Rock and Jim Carrey, moderated by Bill Hader. The network said it taped the roundtable live at the 2012 Nantucket Film Festival last weekend.

"My experience with Epix has been unlike any other network," said Norton, a regular on Sirius XM's The Opie and Anthony Show. "I’ve worked closely with the Epix team throughout the entire process, including promotion, which is an incredibly rare luxury for a performer."

Said Smith: "They are all about comedy and do a great job finding out who has a nice following, who is liked on Twitter, and who is respected."

Epix said it works with each comedian to "increase accessibility and engage fans with interactive online chats via Epix Live and live tweeting from the comedians during show premieres."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai