June 20, 2013 8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comedy Central Adds 'Meltdown' Stand-Up Series From EP Ben Stiller
Comedy Central is going to Meltdown Comics for the best in stand-up comedy.
The cable network has handed out a series order to The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail from executive producer Ben Stiller, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The series will be hosted by comedians Jonah Ray (The Soup, The Nerdist) and Kumail Nanjiani (Franklin & Bash, Portlandia, Michael & Michael Have Issues) and features the hottest stand-up comedians performing at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. It will be based on the weekly event the duo hosts at the popular venue.
Meltdown was coined the epicenter of L.A.'s alt-comedy scene in THR's inaugural Comedy Issue this year. The event has featured some of the hottest names in comedy, including Louis C.K., Robin Williams, Aziz Ansari, Donald Glover, Mark Maron and more.
Comedy Central's adaptation will see the duo host comedians onstage and go behind the scenes with the comics and other guest stars in the greenroom.
Ray, Nanjiani, Emily Gordon as well as Red Hour's Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Debbie Liebling, Mike Rosenstein, Jonas Larsen and Toni Magon will oversee for Comedy Central.
"Of all the comedy shows on Comedy Central that are taped in the back of a comic book store, this will be the best one," Ray, Nanjiani and Gordon said in a statement.
Added Comedy Central original programming president Kent Alterman: "I'm shocked to learn this show will be taped in the back of a comic book store, rather than a comedy store, but we'll do it anyway."
The series comes as Comedy Central continues to be a home for up-and-coming performers. The Viacom-owned network recently teamed with comic Brody Stevens, who taped a special for the cabler, for a 12-episode series based on his digital series Brody Stevens: Enjoy It. The net also doubled down on Workaholics star Adam Devine with Adam Devine's House Party, an eight-episode mix of stand-up and narrative sketches featuring 24 of his favorite promising comedians as it continues to bulk up on original fare. Previous comedians with one-hour specials on Comedy Central that have gone on to land starring vehicles include Daniel Tosh, Amy Schumer, Anthony Jeselnik, Chris Hardwick and Reggie Watts, among countless others.
For Stiller's Red Hour banner, the project marks the latest effort as it pushes into television. The shingle had a handful of comedies in development at ABC under its overall pact with the studio. Liebling joined the banner as head of its TV division in 2011.
Ray is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, while Nanjiani is with CAA, Mosaic and Schreck Rose.