NBC’s ad-free streaming comedy channel Seeso has forged a programming deal with Russell Simmons’ media empire All Def Digital that will see the creation of original content as well as licensed programming.
First up, Seeso has greenlit stand-up comedy specials for comedians Tyree Elaine and Robert Powell that will be filmed in front of live audiences in Los Angeles. In addition, ADD’s original series Blackie Sack will live exclusively on Seeso. The series, created by and starring Aflamu Johnson and Ian Eastin, follows Leon Sugarfoot, the owner of his crew the HSM – “Hackie Sack Millionaires” – who, together with friend attempts to conquer the world of hip hop. All 34 episodes of the series will be available on Seeso.
“Russell has an unreal track record for discovering young comedians. ADD is doing this all over again for a new generation of comics, and a new generation of fans,” said Evan Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal. “We’re lucky to be bringing their talent for talent to Seeso.”
“We’re very excited about what NBC is building with Seeso,” said Russell Simmons. “At ADD, our mission is to shine a light on the hottest new talent. Our company is an accelerator for social video stars, but also for emerging comedic actors, sketch and improv artists, and of course stand-up comics.”
“From a digital series based on one of the most original characters you’ll ever see, Leon Sugarfoot, the world’s first black hackey sacker, to our consistent role in creating paths for standup comics, ADD continues to show there is a white space in urban programming that appeals to youth culture broadly,” said Sanjay Sharma, ADD’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thrilled that our unique voice in comedy has found a partner in Seeso, the country’s first and foremost digital subscription service for premium comedic programming.”
This is the latest in a series of deals for All Def Digital as it grows its presence as a leader in comedy and hip hop culture. The company recently launched an in-house creative agency aimed at diverse audiences under-served by traditional platforms, a content deal with Spotify to provide the streaming service with 12 original series, and also has a first-look deal with HBO. ADD also produced the All Def Movie Awards which ran during Oscar weekend, since sealing a five year deal to produce the show annually for Fusion, and in April announced All Def Roasts series of celebrity roasts with Snoop Dog as the first roastee.