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Brevity for Levity

Merger combines four units into one

Levity Prods., the shingle behind Comedy Central’s upcoming “The Jeff Dunham Show,” has merged under the same roof with Levity Management, producer Triage Entertainment and branded entertainment firm Medium.

The newly-formed Levity Entertainment Group is also the largest shareholder of the Improv comedy club chain.

“We have had success in each of our units, but our greatest triumphs come when two or more of them band together,” said Levity Entertainment Group principal Robert Hartmann.

Under the new setup, Levity Prods. will continue to produce comedy series and specials. Besides “The Jeff Dunham Show” and Dunham’s recent holiday special, which posted Comedy Central’s largest audience in the channel’s history, the shingle has produced more than 40 stand-up hours for channels such as Comedy Central, TBS and Showtime.

Triage, meanwhile, will focus on non-comedy programming, such as Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and History’s upcoming “Madhouse.”

On the management side, Levity reps talent such as Dunham, Chris Titus and Jim Breuer. And Medium’s brand strategy clients include Pepsi, Coors Light and Nestle Butterfinger.

“We’ve proven a model where we think we can deliver value to comedians, by helping them secure broadcast, DVD and digital, and helping them work with brands on their own initiatives,” said Levity partner Stu Schreiberg.

Next up, in a move to duplicate the recent success of rising star Dunham, the company is launching a new digital marketing and promotion division, called E-Comic Branding. Service is meant to measure a comedian’s impact on the Internet.

“This is a little secret weapon of ours,” Schreiberg said. “Jeff Dunham is the perfect example. He was a successful club comedian for many years. But then starting with the Comedy Central specials and then DVDs, he had a digital explosion. Now he’s selling out tours across the world.”

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