Russell Simmons is taking it from YouTube to your living room TV with a new HBO deal.
Music mogul Russell Simmons and his latest venture, All Def Digital, a multi-platform media company, signed a deal with premium television network HBO yesterday. The agreement entails the Def Jam co-founder and his team creating and developing a wide range of small screen projects for HBO.
Currently, Simmons has five active projects on the table with HBO; three of these are in development via All Def Digital. The projects are as follows:
- a comedy series that curates the best of All Def Digital’s live comedy shows, happening every week in Hollywood.
- These Are My Friends, a comedic docu-drama by Shaka King that takes an original look at authentic hip hop culture, following four friends as they struggle to break free from the starving artist stigmata, and keep their dreams alive.
- a third comedy series through All Def Digital featuring the Broken Lizard troupe, who brought you viral videos like “Super Trooper” and “Beerfest.” The Broken Lizard Show will take an unprecedented look at race, when, in the future, a space ship exploring the galaxy stumbles across the first white man in the galaxy.
- a highly anticipated miniseries, Codes of Conduct, executive produced by Simmons and directed and developed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave). The show follows a young man with a mysterious past who enters the ranks of New York’s high society.
- a Def Comedy Jam 25th anniversary special, produced by Simmons and Stan Lathan, featuring an all-star line up of the best comedians, ever.
Says president of HBO programming, Michael Lombardo:
“We always speak of having distinct voices at HBO, and few in the industry are as unique and intelligent as Russell. He’s been a part of our family for a long time, and we are so pleased to be continuing our relationship.”
Simmons has had a working relationship with HBO for years, since 1992, when he c0-created the Def Comedy Jam series that helped make household names out of Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, Jaime Foxx, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, and other big name funny guys.
“HBO has been like a home to me for a generation,” Simmons says. “I am enormously proud of the broad range of programming they have nurtured. Together, we have discovered new voices and helped launch emerging artists that deserved a mainstream platform. I am even more excited by the next generation of talent and shows that we are developing through All Def Digital TV.”
Stay tuned to see even more from Simmons and the All Def Digital team as they take over the airwaves on HBO.