Comedy Central is staging a late night offensive, while Spike is reviving a certain vampire slayer.
Laffer net has greenlit talkers from Stephen Colbert and Adam Carolla that, in addition to D.L. Hughley’s Friday-Sunday gabfest, fill out the post-11 p.m. timeslots seven days a week. Comedy Central/Spike prexy Doug Herzog made the announcements during Tuesday’s MTV Networks upfront presentation to advertisers at Madison Square Garden.
Herzog also unveiled his first major programming decision for Spike, announcing that the men’s network had ordered its first scripted series, “Blade,” based on the feature films starring Wesley Snipes as a half-vampire, half-human vampire slayer.
Hughley’s “Weekends at the D.L.” will preem July 29; skeins from Colbert and Carolla will bow in the third quarter.
Comedy Central has greenlit a trio of comedian-hosted talkers for latenight. Programming-development chief Lauren Corrao said the majority of the cabler’s core aud regularly tunes in to after-hour shows. The 11:30 p.m. repeats of the previous day’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” for example, have performed surprisingly well.
“The Daily Show” is “one of our biggest and best platforms, and we think we’ll be able to maximize that and build these really strong originals in latenight — a daypart that already does well for us,” Corrao said.
“The Colbert Report,” a parody of such personality-driven opinion shows as “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity & Colmes,” is the first project to come out of the first-look deal Comedy Central struck earlier this year with Stewart’s Busboy Prods. (Daily Variety, Feb. 15). Corrao said skein would revolve around an extreme version of Colbert’s “Daily Show” persona.
“Stewart, Ben Karlin and Colbert are exec producing.
Cabler also picked up an untitled talkshow from Carolla focused on pop culture. Half-hour will feature a single celeb interview as well as more conventional elements including live viewer phone calls and person-on-the-street segments. Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel’s Jackhole Prods. will produce with Carolla and Daniel Kellison exec producing.
Prime real estate
Corrao said where “Colbert” and “Carolla” will fall on the sked has not yet been decided.
In addition, Comedy Central announced a partnership with Chris Rock on a diversity program for aspiring student writers. Eight-week program will rotate six college-level students through a variety of assignments at the laffer net that will expose them to the TV writing process. First session kicks off in Gotham June 13.
CMT unveiled four series for the third and fourth quarters. Country music cabler just celebrated its most-watched quarter. New shows include “Man vs. Vegas,” about a high roller who returns to Sin City to win back $3 million he lost; makeover show “Trick My Truck”; “American Soldier,” a series billed as a “real-life ‘Band of Brothers’ “; and “Unsung Stories,” in which a hit songwriter translates the stories of ordinary folk through original words and music.