Kent Alterman returning to Comedy Central

Network's new head of original programming and production

NEW YORK -- Former New Line Cinema executive Kent Alterman is returning to Comedy Central as the network's new head of original programming and production.

Doug Herzog, president MTV Networks' entertainment group, and Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless announced the appointment on Thursday.

Based in LA, Alterman will report to Ganeless. He will oversee the development teams in both Los Angeles and New York.

"With his experience in both film and television comedy and his strong relationships within the comedy community, he is the perfect fit for the job," said Ganeless.

Alterman previously was the head of Comedy Central's New York development office until his departure in 2001 and oversaw development and production on such series as "Strangers with Candy" and "Upright Citizens Brigade."

He worked at New Line Cinema from 2001 and 2006 and directed and executive produced "Semi-Pro," starring Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson, for the studio. He also worked with Michael Moore for two years as a writer, director and executive producer on "TV Nation."

Most recently, Alterman had a feature film producing and directing deal with Fox Film Studios, as well as producing and directing projects in development at Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. He also had a TV pilot with Shawn Ryan at 20th Television Studio.

Alterman said he likes the idea of experimenting with various programming ideas and talent. "We must represent a pool of comedic sensibilities," he said.

But, he added, comedians who can wear writing and acting hats, like the ones who worked on the shows he developed in his first stint at the network, are particularly appealing. "It's a great approach for Comedy Central to work with auteurs of their own sensibilities," Alterman said.

He mentioned Sarah Silverman and Demetri Martin as two of the current Comedy Central stars, among others, that represent "exactly what Comedy Central needs."

Will the new Comedy Central development boss look to work with Will Ferrell again, with whom he did "Elf" at New Line? Deadpans Alterman: "Depends on how much he begs."
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