Comedy Central today announced a comprehensive development deal with Roy Wood Jr. with a ‘first look’ at content created and/or developed for television and new media, it was announced today by Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Executive Vice Presidents and Co-Heads of Talent and Development, Comedy Central.
In addition to the ‘first-look’ deal with the veteran Daily Show correspondent, Comedy Central is set to begin production on Wood’s pilot, Jefferson County: Probation, in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama this May. The pilot is written by Wood and Aaron McGruder (Boondocks, Black Jesus), executive produced by Wood, McGruder, Trevor Noah, and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem and Derek Van Pelt. The pilot will be directed by Millicent Shelton (Black-ish, Insecure, The Walking Dead). Based on Wood’s early life, the pilot stars Wood as a probation officer willing to bend the rules to help the clients he monitors much to the chagrin of his partner and everyone else in his life.
Comedy Central is also committed to produce and air Roy’s third one-hour stand-up special. His second special, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January and notched a .27 P18-49 L3 rating, making it the network’s highest rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Roy Wood Jr.: Father Figure (.31).
Wood will also write and star in an original digital series for Comedy Central titled The Night Pigeon – The story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest villains in his community, The Gentrifiers. “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, Comedy Central. “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.”
“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. “Humor that also explores the human condition is the most meaningful, but can sometimes be the most challenging. The Daily Show has answered that call numerous times, and I am excited to tell new stories with Mr. McGruder who is no stranger to these waters. Excited to tell these stories in a new place (Birmingham) and even more excited to go on this journey with an African-American woman director at the helm. Comedy Central has proven to me to be the right place to take on this challenge. Also, my mom has a long list of chores for me to do. So it’ll be kinda cool to shoot at home.”
Wood’s overall deal follows other previously announced Comedy Central talent deals with Trevor Noah, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer Jim Jefferies, Chris Distefano, Bill Burr and Al Madrigal, and Anthony Jeselnik.
Roy Wood Jr.’s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. Entertainment Weekly has described his thought-provoking comedy as “charismatic crankiness.” Wood joined The World’s Fakest News Team in 2015 as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s Emmy Award-winning hit series The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In 2017, he was named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series This Is Not Happening, which returned with new episodes this past February. His first Comedy Central one-hour stand-up special, Father Figure, premiered in 2017 along with an extended uncensored album of the same name released by Comedy Central Records. Wood’s second Comedy Central one-hour stand-up special, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You, just recently premiered in January 2019. Wood appeared at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival in the New Faces showcase, an appearance that led The Hollywood Reporter to highlight Wood a “standout.” His first full comedy album, Things I Think, I Think: A Live Album, was released in 2013.
Wood – a native of Birmingham, Alabama – 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 the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s historic Def Comedy Jam and in 2010 was selected by America as one of the top three finalists on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Wood has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He has also performed for the troops on numerous USO tours in the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. Prior to The Daily Show, Wood co-starred for three seasons on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son.
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