EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is expanding its late-night block with a new show hosted by comedian/producer Chris Hardwick and co-produced by Funny Or Die. The untitled show, which will launch in the fall, will air four nights a week at midnight, following The Colbert Report, giving the network a 11 PM-12:30 AM block anchored by The Daily Show. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will serve as executive producers/showrunners on the Chris Hardwick show, returning to Comedy Central, where they co-created and starred on the cult series Reno 911! The show, Comedy Central’s first midnight strip, will be formatted as a comedic panel show that will have a heavy social-media presence integrated throughout. It is produced by Comedy Central and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die, with Brillstein Entertainment Partners expected to executive produce along with Serious Business (Alex Blagg, Jason Nadler, Jon Zimelis) and Nerdist Industries, Hardwick and Peter Levin’s production company for multi-platform genre and pop culture content. In addition to the 11:30 PM broadcast late-night talk shows, Comedy Central’s Chris Hardwick program will face another new midnight cable strip — TBS’ series toplined by comedian Pete Holmes, which also is slated to launch in the fall and air four nights a week.
The Chris Hardwick show expands Hardwick’s relationship with Comedy Central, where he headlined his own stand-up special and a pop culture/tech pilot last year. It also marks the latest high-profile hosting gig for Hardwick, who started off on MTV’s Singled Out and currently hosts AMC’s The Walking Dead aftershow, Talking Dead. Nerdist has a deal with AMC, where it is developing All Celebrity Bowling, and just received a pilot order from Nat Geo for In The Name Of Science. Funny Or Die is producing IFC’s upcoming miniseries The Spoils Of Babylon starring Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig. In addition to their TV credits, Lennon and Garant have built a strong feature resume, writing such films as the hit Night At The Museum franchise. They recently wrote and directed the Sundance entry Hell Baby, and Lennon co-stars in NBC’s Sean Hayes comedy pilot, which is expected to go to series.