Comedy Creates New Movie Division

Pasadena, Calif. -- Comedy Central is throwing its hat into the
original-movie-production ring.

The network announced the establishment of a new movie division that will
look to create as many as two network-branded movies per year.

Comedy Central Films plans to launch its first original movie, Porn N'
, during the fourth quarter of 2002, and it has two more projects in
development, Comedy Central Films vice president Patty Newburger said at the
Television Critics Association winter press tour here.

'It's important that our films represent what Comedy Central's unique brand
of humor has always been -- smart, edgy and daring,' she said.

Porn N' Chicken will chronicle the true-life experiences of Yale
University students after the press discovers an underground club in which
students eat chicken while critiquing -- and eventually producing -- porn films,
Newburger said.

Other films on Comedy's development slate include The Last Resort,
which follows the exploits of three men who turn a run-down hotel into a hip
party destination; and Meet Joe Simon, which focuses on the last fertile
man on earth.

Newburger said Comedy would spend about $3 million to develop each film, as
well as committing significant marketing resources to promote the movies as 'big

She added that the network is hoping its originals can pull household Nielsen
Media Research ratings of 2 to 3, with strong appeal among its core
25-through-34 audience.
'We know our audience, and we know what our viewers
want to see, so we can develop the type of movies that they want to watch,'
Newburger said. 'The network has raised the bar on creating smart, edgy,
irreverent programs, and our mission is to push the envelope even further.'

While movies will play a bigger part in its original-programming strategy,
the network has also green-lighted several new original series to debut this

The Sweet Spot, debuting April 2, is a five-part special-event series
featuring comedian Bill Murray's and his brothers' unusual and often funny
experiences on the golf course.

The Man Show creators Daniel Kellison, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla will
team up to develop Crank Yankers, a primetime series debuting June 2 that
features puppets -- voiced by numerous celebrities -- making actual crank phone
calls to businesses and individuals, network executive vice president and
general manager Bill Hilary said.

Also, Comedy will air its first documentary series, Heroes of Black
, beginning Feb. 4. The five part series will profile such comedians
as Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock, Hilary said.

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.