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Hasan Minhaj is moving his comedy to Netflix.
The Daily Show correspondent, who’s seen his star rise considerably over the past year, is the latest in a line of funny people to set up a streaming series, though doing so makes him the first Indian-American to front a weekly comedy show. Without offering specifics, Netflix describes Minhaj’s forthcoming foray as an opportunity for the comedian to explore the modern cultural and political landscapes with depth and sincerity. And in a major vote of confidence in the series and its host, the streaming giant has already committed to 32 episodes, which will roll out later this year.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Netflix family as the country braces for another election season — and like you, I cannot wait to find out who Putin picks this time,” Minhaj joked in a statement announcing the news Thursday.
The California-reared stand-up is said to have produced his own pilot, which sparked a heated bidding war that included his prior home Comedy Central. That Netflix ultimately outbid the competitors speaks not only to the service’s interest in Minhaj, having earned raves for his 2017 stand-up special, but also to its desire to aggressively expand its footprint in major global markets, including India.
“I’ve been a big fan of Hasan’s for many years,” said Netflix’s vp content Bela Bajaria, who herself is the industry’s highest-ranking Indian-American executive. “He’s a phenomenal writer with a distinct point of view [and] he is a brilliant performer, who is hilarious both onstage and off. And more importantly, he isn’t afraid to share his thoughtful voice and unique perspective.”
News of the Netflix show comes on the heels of Minhaj’s breakout year, which includes a celebrated if daunting turn as the emcee of the first White House Correspondents Dinner of the Trump era, followed by that hourlong Netflix special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, praised for both its humor and its originality.
The move is another major blow to Comedy Central, which just last month lost Daily Show vet Michelle Wolf to Netflix. Minhaj, who was Jon Stewart’s final hire at The Daily Show in November 2014, will make the transition this summer. Until then, he will stay put as a correspondent for host Trevor Noah. Comedy Central fans will have one more chance to catch him in 2019, when Minhaj and his sketch comedy quartet, Goatface, release an hour special.
Minhaj, who is repped by WME, Haven Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson, will serve as an executive producer and host of the series, alongside co-creator and executive producer Prashanth Venkataramanujam (repped by Gersh, Ali-Farris Ent. and Stone Genow). Art & Industry’s Michelle Caputo and Shannon Hartman, both repped by WME, as well as Haven’s Jennie Church-Cooper will also earn exec producer credits on the series.