Alterman returns to Comedy Central

Exec to head original programming, production

“Semi-Pro” helmer Kent Alterman has officially signed on as head of original programming and production at Comedy Central.

Alterman had been expected to take the job since word first leaked late last year (Daily Variety, Nov. 16).

He replaces Lauren Corrao, who exited at the end of last year as president of original programming and development at the channel.

New job reps a homecoming for Alterman, who had served as Comedy Central’s head of East Coast development prior to joining New Line in 2001.

“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, a return to my roots,” Alterman said. “I had a great time at Comedy Central the first time. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.”

At Comedy Central, he exec produced numerous series for the net, such as “Strangers With Candy,” “Upright Citizens Brigade” and “Viva Variety.”

Alterman will report to Comedy Central prexy Michele Ganeless, who announced the hire Thursday along with MTV Networks Entertainment Group prexy Doug Herzog.

He’ll be based in Los Angeles and oversee the day-to-day original programming operations on Comedy Central.

“Kent is one of the preeminent creative executives working today,” Herzog said. “His finely tuned comedic instincts are sure to bring great new programming to the channel.”

As a New Line exec, Alterman was exec VP of production and served as an exec producer on features such as “Elf” and “A History of Violence.” It was his experience on “Elf” and working with Will Ferrell that led to his transition behind the lens. The 2008 “Semi-Pro” repped Alterman’s directorial debut.

Alterman most recently had a film producing and directing deal at Fox Film Studios.

Alterman spent the last month negotiating out of his deal at Fox.

“I’ve never been one to plan my career,” he said. “I’ve gone from one opportunity to the next. I love the directing experience, and hope to do it again.”

Exec said Comedy Central has agreed to let him take time to direct if an opportunity becomes available.

Alterman’s other recent TV credits include working with Shawn Ryan last year on the Fox comedy project “Millionaire’s Club,” which ultimately didn’t move forward.

Alterman also has kept in touch with his former Comedy Central brethren, having developed an Andy Richter-led sketch show at the cabler last year.

Corrao announced in October that she would depart Comedy Central in December, when her contract expired. She spent seven years at the channel.

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