Joel McHale Re-Ups at 'The Soup,' Launches Production Company (Exclusive)

Elle Women of Hollywood | Beverly Hills, Oct. 17
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"I'm just really excited and can't wait to get up there and start telling jokes," said host Joel McHale.

The "Community" star will develop non-scripted and scripted fare, with Jason Burns tapped as the company's president.

Joel McHale is staying put at The Soup.

As part of a new multimillion-dollar deal, the touring comedian-turned-Community star will also develop nonscripted projects for E! through his newly launched production company, Free Period Productions, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. As part of the pact, he will continue with the cable network’s cult-favorite celebrity clip show -- he’s currently hosting his ninth season -- for at least two more years. (An E! rep declined comment.) Additionally, McHale has inked a deal with Community producer Sony Pictures Television for scripted development.

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McHale has tapped former Alta Loma Entertainment senior vp and longtime friend Jason Burns to serve as president of the new company. In his tenure at Alta Loma, the mainstream entertainment division of Playboy, Burns oversaw development, production and distribution of such series as The Girl Next Door, Kendra and Holly’s World.

The hire is a reunion for McHale and Burns, whose relationship dates back to high school when the duo produced a TV show, appropriately titled Free Period. (Burns created the series; McHale starred.) Prior to his stint at Alta Loma, Burns headed the nonscripted division at Gersh, where he represented McHale and put him on The Soup in 2004.

The news comes mere weeks before McHale's critical darling returns to its new Friday night time slot on NBC’s schedule Oct. 19, with David Guarascio and Moses Port replacing Dan Harmon as showrunners. McHale continues to add film credits to his resume, too, including Seth MacFarlane’s summer blockbuster Ted, Spy Kids and The Informant!

McHale, who recently shot an arc on FX's grittier Sons of Anacrchy, is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

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