NESN's new game plan: jocks, jokes


New England sports network NESN has greenlighted a sports-focused stand-up comedy series from New Wave Entertainment.

The weekly half-hour series, titled "NESN's Comedy All-Stars," has been given a 10-episode order. The show, an Original NESN Entertainment production being produced in partnership with Barry Katz and New Wave, will be hosted by Gary Gulman, a New England native and former contestant on "Last Comic Standing." Katz is an executive producer on the NBC reality competition.

Each week, "All-Stars" will feature three comedians from Boston and nationwide performing stand-up routines with sports-only topics. Gulman and the other top comics also will participate in remote pieces focusing on Boston teams and in sports-themed comedy sketches.

The show is set to go into production Sunday through Thursday at the Comedy Connection located inside Boston's Faneuil Hall and at other locations throughout New England.

" 'NESN'S Comedy All-Stars' represents the expanding efforts of (Original NESN Entertainment) to bring unique programming to the network by partnering with a nationally renowned production team," said Joel Feld, vp programming/exec producer at NESN. "We believe the combination of sports and comedy, both with their own rich New England traditions, fit perfectly with our mission to entertain the hard-core and casual New England sports fan."

NESN is owned by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins and reaches more than 4 million homes throughout New England.

Said Katz: "When I first started my career in Boston, I had only two goals: to produce a sports-related comedy show and to work with (Red Sox chairman) Tom Werner. With help from (NESN director of program development and acquisitions) Len Mead, Joel Feld and NESN, I feel like I've come full circle. And I can honestly say, dreams really do come true."

New Wave's credits also include TBS' "Frank TV" and ABC's "The Next Best Thing." Gulman's credits also include HBO's "Tourgasm."