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Karlin Strikes HBO Development Deal

Ben Karlin, former executive producer of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewartand co-creator/executive producer of The Colbert Report, signed a development deal with HBO.

According to HBO, the multiplatform deal covers original series, specials, TV movies and new media, as well as a first-look deal for theatrical films.

“Through his work with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, Ben has become one of the most important creative forces in comedy today, known for his smarts, his wit and his great talent relations,” said Colin Callender, president of HBO Films, in a statement announcing the agreement. “We look forward to working with him to bring these same qualities to the theatrical marketplace in nontraditional ways.”

Karlin left The Daily Show last December after more than seven years with the program, including a stint as head writer before his elevation to executive producer in 2002.

He has won nine Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards for his work on The Daily Show and Colbert Report. He also co-authored America: The Book, which has sold more than 1.8 million copies and was named “Book of the Year” by Publishers Weekly.

Karlin cut his comedy chops at The Onion, where he served as a writer and editor from 1993-96.

Said Karlin about the deal: “When my reps asked me what I wanted to do next, I said firmly, ‘not TV.’ They said, ‘HBO.’ I had to admit, they had me there.”