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BRAND A STAND-UP GUY

Hot off his stint as host of the MTV Video Music Awards, British comedian Russell Brand has signed to do a one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central. The special, which will feature Brand and guests, will be taped next month in New York to air in 2009.

READY TO TAKE A BOW

Showtime's "United States of Tara" will debut Jan. 18. The dark comedy penned by Diablo Cody and starring Toni Collette will air at 10 p.m., following the final season premiere of "The L Word" at 9 p.m. and leading to the Season 2 opener of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" at 10:30. … Meanwhile, Bravo's hit reality series "Top Chef" will return for Season 5 on Nov. 12 with the premiere of "Top Chef: New York."

DREBIN's WB BRAND MAN

Warner Bros. International Television Distribution has named Greg Drebin to the newly created position of senior vp branded services-programming and marketing, continuing the expansion of its branded services unit formed in April.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Shannon Tweed and Sophie Tweed Simmons of "Gene Simmons: Family Jewels" are hosting Cure in the Canyons II, a luxury-lifestyle benefit for breast cancer research, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, Calif. Details: CureInTheCanyons.com.
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