Comedy Central struck a new development deal with comedian and actor Roy Wood Jr. that encompasses a “first-look” relationship as well as a few other projects at the Viacom-owned media outlet.
Wood, who has appeared on the network’s flagship “Daily Show” since 2015, will begin production on a pilot, “Jefferson Country: Probation,” in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, in May. Comedy Central has committed to produce and air a one-hour stand up special featuring Wood, his third with the outlet. And he will write and star in an original digital series for Comedy Central.
“Roy is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. His top-notch skills as a stand-up comic, performer, writer and producer continue to amaze us – and he does it all while being one of the kindest humans in the business,” said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, executive vice presidents and co-heads of talent and development at Comedy Central, in a prepared statement. “His wry, observational humor speaks to social and political change and we’re so excited to have Roy join an incredible roster of talent who have chosen to make Comedy Central their home.”
The “Jefferson County” pilot is written by Wood and Aaron McGruder, and executive produced by Wood, McGruder, Trevor Noah, and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem and Derek Van Pelt. It will be directed by Millicent Shelton, and is based on Wood’s early life. He stars as a probation officer willing to bend the rules to help the clients he monitors.
Wood’s digital series will be called “The Night Pigeon” and tells the story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest villains in his community.
“It’s my pleasure to partner with a network that understands an artist’s need to take the creative road less traveled to mine humor from complicated social prisms such as jail reform and gentrification,” said Wood in a statement. “Humor that also explores the human condition is the most meaningful, but can sometimes be the most challenging.”
Wood began his comedy career in 1999 at the age of 19 while attending Florida A&M University. In October 2006, Wood made his network television debut on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and in 2010 was selected by America as one of the top three finalists on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Prior to joining “The Daily Show,” Wood co-starred for three seasons on the TBS sitcom “Sullivan & Son.”