CNN Sets 'History of Comedy' Series

CNN will profile the history and influence of comedy in a new limited series debuting Feb. 9, the news network announced Wednesday.

The eight-part The History of Comedy will feature archival footage and contemporary interviews with comedy legends, scholars and current stars to showcase how comedy has influenced the country’s social and political landscape throughout history, said network officials.

Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen will serve as executive producers for the series, which will feature interviews with veteran and contemporary comedians and writers such as Norman Lear, Carol Burnett, Larry David, Betty White Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, George Lopez, Keegan-Michael Key and Conan O’Brien.

In support of the series launch, CNN will partner with National Comedy Center to present  “Stand-Up Live! featuring comedy performances in several cities around the country, according to network officials. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.