Veteran Comedy Central Development executive Gary Mann is stepping down from his post as SVP Original Programming and Development effective February 28. He and Comedy Central president Kent Alterman announced Mann’s departure in separate memos to the company staff, obtained by Deadline. (You can read them under the story.)
During his 13-year tenure at Comedy Central, Mann developed and served as the current programming executive on such series as the Emmy- and Peabody-winning Key And Peele, the Emmy-winning The Sarah Silverman Program and @midnight with Chris Hardwick, as well as ratings hit Tosh.0, Review, Not Safe With Nikki Glaser, The Burn With Jeff Ross, Sports Show With Norm MacDonald, The Showbiz Show With David Spade; and more recently The High Court With Doug Benson, The Comedy Jam and a pilot for comedian Jim Jefferies.
In his note, Alterman touted Mann’s “amazing record.” “Gary has seen at least one pilot he’s been involved with go to series every year he’s been at Comedy Central,” Alterman said, adding, “Gary has a finely honed eye for talent and has displayed fantastic creative sensibilities through the development and production process.”
Alterman recently restructured Comedy Central’s development team, combining the network’s talent and development departments into one, led by SVPs Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, who were upped to EVP Talent and Development, East and West Coast, respectively.
Before joining Comedy Central in 2003, Mann was an independent producer at HBO Independent Prods.
Here is Mann’s heartfelt goodbye letter, recounting professional and personal highlights of his Comedy Central tenure:
I have decided to step down from my post as Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development at Comedy Central effective February 28. It’s been a wild and wonderful 13-year journey, but it’s time for the next big thing.
On a personal level, this is difficult – because when you laugh heartily at work all day, somewhere along the line your like-minded colleagues become your comrades and those comrades become your friends. Over the years those friends have stood by me (and didn’t object) at my wedding; they yanked me out of a pitch to get to the hospital in time for the birth of my son; they comforted me when I lost my parents and celebrated with me at each birthday (where naturally, I got older and older, but never as old as Kent.)
On a professional level, I couldn’t be more proud. I was fortunate enough to have developed with the best and brightest comics, writers, actors and producers in the business. Sarah and The Sarah Silverman Program put Comedy Central back on the narrative map, Keegan and Jordan and Key and Peele satirized race and racism like no other sketch show in the history of television (4 billion people and counting have seen their sketches), Daniel and Tosh.O provide the smartest, cruelest, most absurd look at people — second only to the internet itself, Andy and Review — was “the most hilarious show that no one was watching” and Chris and @midnight trends globally almost every night of the week.
I love these shows and so many other series, pilots and scripts and the people behind them. And for the record, y’all should look forward to the next amazing crop coming from Kent and the greatest comedy execs in the business.
I feel lucky to have had this experience. Not quite as lucky as Lou Gehrig, but lucky.
Thanks, team. Thanks, friends.
See you soon.
Here is Kent Alterman’s email:
I’m sad to inform you that Gary Mann has decided to leave us after an incredible 13 year run. Gary has been instrumental in putting some of our most noteworthy shows on the air. He was integral to the development and oversight of the Emmy-nominated The Sarah Silverman Program, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Key & Peele, and the ratings smash Tosh.0. His other series include the Emmy-winning @midnight, The Burn with Jeff Ross, Review, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, and more recently The High Court with Doug Benson, the upcoming Comedy Jam, as well as the Jim Jeffries pilot.
Gary has also had a hand in expanding our reach on multi-platforms, with our franchises and through original content, and has maintained oversight of the Comedy Central Stage and produced shows there like Jill Soloway’s Sit N’ Spin.
Gary has a finely honed eye for talent and has displayed fantastic creative sensibilities through the development and production process. In fact, Gary has seen at least one pilot he’s been involved with go to series every year he’s been at Comedy Central – an amazing record. He has also been a mentor to many of our younger development execs, teaching them what to do by example, and sometimes what not to do… by example. (For any of you who know Gary intimately, you’ll understand I couldn’t resist eliciting his oft–used line, “That’s very hurtful.”)
Please join me in saluting Gary’s incredible legacy, expressing gratitude for his contributions, and wishing him great luck as he ventures into the world of new possibilities.