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Comedy Central is expanding its relationship with Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr.
The cable network has signed a first-look deal with Wood to develop new projects for television and digital platforms. In addition, Wood will star in a third stand-up special and a digital series for Comedy Central. The network will also produce a scripted pilot he co-created.
“Roy is the ultimate multihyphenate. His top-notch skills as a stand-up comic, performer, writer and producer continue to amaze us — and he does it all while being one of the kindest humans in the business,” said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, executive vps and co-heads of talent and development at Comedy Central. “His wry, observational humor speaks to social and political change, and we’re so excited to have Roy join an incredible roster of talent who have chosen to make Comedy Central their home.”
Wood’s deal is the latest in a string of first-look and overall pacts Comedy Central has made in recent months with the likes of Jim Jefferies, Chris Distefano, Bill Burr and Anthony Jeselnik. Broad City creators and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer also signed a first-look deal with Comedy Central parent Viacom in 2018.
Along with the first-look deal, Comedy Central will begin production in May on Jefferson County Probation in Wood’s hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Co-written by Wood and The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, the show will star Wood as a probation officer who bends the rules to help the clients he monitors, to the chagrin of his partner and everyone else in his life. Wood, McGruder, Daily Show host/exec producer Trevor Noah and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem and Derek Van Pelt executive produce. Millicent Shelton (Black-ish, 30 Rock) will direct.
Wood will also star in digital series The Night Pigeon, playing a black superhero with minimal powers who fights against his community’s greatest villains, the Gentrifiers.
“It’s my pleasure to partner with a network that understands an artist’s need to take the creative road less traveled to mine humor from complicated social prisms such as jail reform and gentrification,” said Wood. “Humor that also explores the human condition is the most meaningful but can sometimes be the most challenging. The Daily Show has answered that call numerous times, and I am excited to tell new stories with Mr. McGruder, who is no stranger to these waters. Excited to tell these stories in a new place (Birmingham) and even more excited to go on this journey with an African-American woman director at the helm. Comedy Central has proven to me to be the right place to take on this challenge. Also, my mom has a long list of chores for me to do. So it’ll be kinda cool to shoot at home.”
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Thomas Brodie Sangster