'Drunk History' Renewed as Creator Inks Comedy Central First-Look Deal

Derek Waters and his Be Nice or Leave banner will develop new projects for the linear network and digital platforms.
Mike Rosenthal
Derek Waters

Comedy Central continues to invest in Derek Waters.

The Viacom-owned cable network has renewed Drunk History for a 16-episode seventh season and inked a first-look deal with its creator and host.

Under the pact, Waters and his Be Nice or Leave banner will develop comedy content for linear and digital platforms for Comedy Central Productions, the cable network's in-house studio.  

"Derek Waters has repeatedly proven his comedic genius as a creator, actor and director across multiple platforms through our hit Drunk History. That series merely scratches the surface of his creative output, and we’re so excited to develop even more projects with him through Comedy Central Productions,” Comedy Central originals co-heads Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen said Monday in a statement.

The renewal and first-look deal arrive as Waters' Drunk History is up for three Emmys this year, including outstanding variety sketch series, directing (for Waters) and picture editing. Through six seasons, the series featuring historical re-enactments performed by a host of inebriated celebrities has reached an average of 1 million total viewers per episode (with seven days of delayed viewing). Waters and Jeremy Konner created the series, which is produced in-house by CCP and Gary Sanchez Productions' Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Owen Burke.

"I couldn’t be more excited about this new relationship with Comedy Central. They took a chance on me and have been fantastic in supporting Drunk History over the past six seasons. I look forward to creating thoughtful, entertaining and hilarious programming,” said Waters.

Waters joins a growing roster of talent with first-look deals at Comedy Central Productions, including Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs (The Other Two); Broad City's Abbi Jacobson and Ilana GlazerRoy Wood Jr.Jim Jefferies; Chris Distefano; Anthony King (who earned a Tony nomination for writing the musical Beetlejuice); Daniel Powell and Alex Bach at Irony Point (Inside Amy Schumer); and Stuart Miller (Comedy Central's upcoming Klepper). Comedy Central launched its in-house studio and production arm in May with the goal of hanging onto its top talent at a time when the cable network has struggled to do so (see Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Amy Schumer).