Comedy Central Promotes Programming Chief Kent Alterman

Kent Alterman Headshot NEW - P 2013
Courtesy of Comedy Central

Kent Alterman Headshot NEW - P 2013

As the network’s new president of content development and original programming, he'll oversee such things as the development and production of fare across all Comedy Central platforms.

Comedy Central vet Kent Alterman is expanding his purview.

Alterman has been elevated to the cable network’s president of content development and original programming. In the new role, the Santa Monica-based exec will oversee the development and production of original fare across all of Comedy Central’s platforms, both television and digital. He’ll continue to oversee Comedy Central’s talent and specials team, too, which is responsible for identifying and developing comedy talent through such efforts as stand-up specials and the network’s roast series.

In a greater bid for consolidation, Alterman and his talent team will be more closely aligned with the net’s enterprises division, headed by Mitch Fried, as well. The latter is part of a larger push to maximize the brand’s talent partnerships across an array of categories including publishing, records, live events and consumer product. In the realignment, Fried will now report to both Alterman and Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. (Alterman will continue to report to Ganeless.)

"[The new role] reflects the changing the world that we live in. We’re really trying to approach the digital pieces not as an afterthought to our shows but more organic and intrinsic to our shows," Alterman tells The Hollywood Reporter of the network's more holistic approach to talent development. Looking ahead, he says he'd like to not only offer digital extensions but also launch digital originals as well as use the Web to test --and ultimately launch-- more small screen fare. 

"Kent’s relationships with the creative community run deep and his track record in working with and developing strong, unique comedic voices is unparalleled in the comedy world,” said Viacom Media Networks Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog. Added Ganeless: “In consolidating all content development under Kent’s direction, Comedy Central is breaking the wall between linear, digital and social development, with a strategic vision that great content is great content, no matter what platform.”

Since returning to Comedy Central in 2010, Alterman and his development team have been focused on growing the network's originals output, with a goal in place to increase original programming by 55 percent this year. Among the latest offerings: Workaholics, Key & Peele, Brickleberry and Nick Kroll's newest offering, Kroll Show. Later this year, the net is expected to roll out fare from Anthony Jeselnik (The Jeselnik Offensive), Ben Hoffman (The Ben Show), Nathan Fielder (Nathan for You), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Andy Daly (Review) and Derek Waters (Drunk History). Alterman adds of his goals for the network: "I’d like to get more scripted shows going. One area that we could use more of is long-form scripted, as opposed to sketch or the hybrid scripted things." 

In between his Comedy Central stints, Alterman had a film deal at Fox Film Studios as well as projects in development at such studios as Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. Prior to that, Alterman directed and executive produced Will Ferrell's Semi-Pro at New Line, where he was an EVP from 2001 to 2006. During his first turn at Comedy Central, he headed up the brand's New York development office, where he oversaw the development and productions of projects from Amy Sedaris' Strangers with Candy to Amy Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade. 

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