Heard the one about Comedy exec Corrao?


Lauren Corrao has been upped to president of original programming and development at Comedy Central.

Corrao, who was executive vp, has overseen the development of such Comedy Central series as "Chappelle's Show," "Reno 911!" "Mind of Mencia," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "Drawn Together" and "Lil' Bush." She will continue to be responsible for the development and supervision of all original programming on the network and original content created specifically for digital platforms, overseeing the development teams in Los Angeles and New York.

Corrao also will manage the network's talent and events staff, who are responsible for identifying and developing promising comedians and comedy stars and producing such special event programming as the "Comedy Central Roast" franchise and the network's stand-up specials. Corrao also will supervise the Comedy Central Records label.

In addition, Corrao is responsible for attracting established comedic talent to the network. Most recently, deals were signed with Sarah Silverman; Lewis Black, whose pop-culture debate series "The Root of All Evil" is scheduled to debut in March; and Demetri Martin, whose sketch-variety show "Important Things With Demetri Martin" is targeted to debut in the fall.

"What really works for us is finding unique individuals with great points of view and developing shows around them, including animation, sketch, live-action and narrative," Corrao said. "We'll continue doing more of that moving forward."

Corrao added that she's hoping for a quick resolution to the writers strike, which forced the network to go into repeats with its late-night shows "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report."

"We're flying high (in terms of ratings growth), and hopefully this strike won't bog us down too long," she said. "That's been the most difficult thing for us."

Corrao's promotion comes a few months after Michele Ganeless was upped from executive vp and GM of Comedy Central to president (HR 9/6). Corrao, based in Los Angeles, will continue to report to MTV Networks Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog.

"Lauren has been the architect of some of our most successful series and has been instrumental in Comedy Central's phenomenal growth," Herzog said.

Corrao joined Comedy Central in 2002 as senior vp original programming and head of development and was promoted to executive vp in 2005. Before joining the network, she was with Touchstone Television, where she served as executive producer on several projects, including ABC's "The Job."