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Comedy Central Strikes Development Pacts With Jessica Williams, Jordan Klepper of ‘Daily Show’

Two of the coterie of correspondents on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” may soon file dispatches from new venues.

The Viacom-owned network said it had entered into development deals with both Jessica Williams and Jordan Klepper. Williams, who joined the late-night program in 2012 as its youngest correspondent, was suggested as a potential successor to Jon Stewart on social media. Klepper joined “The Daily Show” in 2014 after years at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City.

“‘The Daily Show’ has always been an amazing vehicle for discovering talent. We want to continue that tradition,” said Kent Alterman, the network’s president of original programming, in an interview. “We want to be working with talent who have aspirations to keep developing their voice.”

Williams is expected to work on a narrative scripted pilot, that she will exec produce. Naomi Ekperigin,  a comedian who has worked as a writer on the network’s “Broad City,” will write the show with Williams.

Klepper has signed a development deal with Comedy Central for a late night talk show presentation that will be exec produced by Klepper and Kirsten Ames.  The final form of Klepper’s project has yet to be decided, but it’s understood that the show could end up as anything from a once-a-week showcase to something even more nontraditional, given a new format that has been unveiled featuring Samantha Bee on TBS or a forthcoming project starring Chelsea Handler on Netflix.

Comedy Central has a history of working with “Daily Show” correspondents on new projects, including Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report” and Larry Wilmore on “The Nightly Show.” Keeping the comics in-house can be crucial, as they often attract the notice of rivals. John Oliver, once a “Daily Show” contributor, has found success hosting “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, and Bee, now on TBS, was a “Daily” veteran. Her husband, Jason Jones, was also a “Daily” correspondent who is about to launch a new comedy on the Time Warner comedy-focused cable outlet.

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