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Upfront and Personal: Comedy Central yuks it up for media buyers


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Upfront and Personal: Comedy Central yuks it up for media buyers

did whatit does best at its upfront — made the audience laugh.

Trottingout a host of talent at its March 31 event at Town Hall in Manhattan, N.Y., theViacom Inc. service kickedthings off with a ribald opening from the star of "Inside Amy Schumer,"who told the assemblage of media buyers and planners that she's a movie star ("Trainwreck")and so big now that she doesn't need them.

AnotherComedy Central star, "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah, hosted the affairand played up the specter of a Donald Trump election. "For the first time inmy life, white people are coming up to me and saying, 'So, Trevor, tell me aboutAfrica,'" he cracked.

The presentationmostly emphasized the network's stars and their current and new projects and paidirreverent countdown homage to the 20th season of "South Park," beginningSept. 14. The jokesters also made sport about a number of upfront conventions.

DanielTosh, whose "Tosh 2.0" was renewed for a ninth season, said he plans tofollow this guiding principle, "My fans are always telling me less comedy,more advertising." Meanwhile, docu-reality comedian Nathan Fielder conductedan illuminating taped interview with a 16-year-old, as the "Nathan for You"star extracted less than zero information about multiplatform usage and what makesthe generation tick from his "fellow millennial."

Lookingto be "up front" about the upfront, "Workaholics" curly headedstar Blake Anderson likened the event to "a pep rally" for Comedy Central,while Adam DeVine, his co-star exited the stage brandishing the Vulcan finger saluteand chanting "all hail Viacom." Their show has been renewed for sixthand seventh seasons.

SNL Image

Jeff Ross at Comedy Central's upfront

Source: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Besidestrumpeting support for his new bracket-style competition series between comedians,Jeff Ross also rallied the crowd to "Make Television Great Again." Hisopening policy position included "building a wall around Netflix Inc. and having Hulu LLC pay for it." He then stumped for " Inc. back toSouth America where it came from."

As tonew programming, two animated shows, "Jeff and Some Aliens" and "Legendsof Chamberlain Heights" earned screen time. Jason Sudeikis, Tim Robinson andSam Richardson, the stars of "Detroiters," about two local ad men whowant to restore the Motor City to its past glory, also appeared on stage.

In orderto appeal to millennials even more, this past February, Comedy Central also launchedits international Snapchat Discover channel. The network announcedrenewals for "Quickie with Nikki," its most popular Snapchat series, whichwill return April 19. Also back: "Swag-a-Saurus with James Davis," "LikeIt with Liza" and "Hot Takes with Brandon Wardell."

It alsohas greenlit nine new series spanning animation, sketch, stand-up, reality and late-night,including the animated "Bert's Dreams," competition series send-up "DeadliestChef," sketch project "Guber Pool," and an untitled late-night entryfrom Emily Candini and Dave Horwitz.

The networkordered new linear seasons of "Review," "This Is Not Happening,""Alternatino," "Nothin's Easy" and "Questionable Science,"as well as more installments of "Not Safe with Nikki Glaser."

Theseannouncements followed previous commitments to the 20th through 23rd seasons of"South Park"; the fourth and fifth campaigns for "Broad City";a fourth shot of "Drunk History"; and a fifth turn with "Inside AmySchumer."

ComedyCentral's pipeline also includes a number of stand-up forums for upcoming comediansand two specials produced by and starring funny man Kevin Hart.

The networkalso has development deals with "Daily Show" correspondents Jordan Klepperand Jessica Williams. Pacts are also in place with Schumer, Channing Tatum, OliviaWilde, Jack Black, Eva Longoria, Ed Helms, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone and ChrisHardwick, the host of "@midnight with Chris Hardwick."