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Comedy net makes Mencia

Thesp will star in a half-hour project similar to 'Chapelle'

Comedy Central has made a 10-episode commitment to a series project from comedian Carlos Mencia.

Mencia, whose television credits include work on “The Shield” and “The Bernie Mac Show,” along with standup specials on the laffer net and HBO, will star in a half-hour project he’ll exec produce with Emmy-winning producer Robert Morton (“Late Show With David Letterman”). A few years back, Warner Bros. TV signed him to a talent holding deal for a sitcom at ABC.

Particulars of Mencia’s untitled project are still being worked out, but the format will be similar to that of Dave Chappelle’s “Chappelle’s Show” — a combination of man-on-the-street segments, commercial parodies and bits with a live audience.

Comedy Central senior VP of programming and development Lauren Corrao likened it to a latenight talker without the talk.

“It is similar to ‘Chappelle,’ in that it’s very much point-of-view comedy,” Corrao said. Comedy Central execs had been looking for ways to extend their relationship with the East Los Angeles-raised Honduran native, who has done a half-hour for the “Comedy Central Presents” franchise and performed two “pilot presentations” at the Hollywood-based Comedy Central Stage, the cabler’s live developmental laboratory.

Mencia, meanwhile, had been looking for a venue open to his brand of comedy.

“Traditional networks would cast me as the head of a household with 16 children, which I find extremely offensive, because there are 18 kids in my family,” he said.

Skein is set to debut this summer.

Separately, Comedy Central has upped Richard Loomis to senior VP of marketing and brand strategy and Mitchel Fried to senior VP of promotion marketing. Both execs will continue to report to exec VP-general manager Michelle Ganeless.

Senior VP of brand creative Peter Risafi will continue to oversee both the on-air promotion and the off-air creative departments.

Loomis will lead consumer and trade marketing and advertising efforts, including on-air/off-air brand strategy and the refinement and evolution of the network’s overall brand positioning as it expands into new businesses. Network-related affiliate marketing, consumer products and special events units will report to Loomis.

In an expanded position, Fried will oversee all integrated marketing and sponsorship opportunities that support the network’s advertising revenue, including movie studio relations, promotions and stunts. In addition, he will oversee the network’s live comedy touring biz as well as work with the business development and consumer products groups to maximize ancillary revenue opportunities.

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