Veteran Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. has signed a first-look development deal with Comedy Central that covers content for television and new media. Under the pact, Woods will headline his third one-hour stand-up special for the network and will also write and star in an original digital series titled The Night Pigeon.
Separate from the new pact, Comedy Central has given a pilot green light to Wood’s Jefferson County: Probation, from Trevor Noah & Aaron McGruder. The project, which had been in the works at Comedy Central for a year, will film in Wood’s hometown of Birmingham, AL, in May.
Written by Wood and Aaron McGruder (Boondocks), Jefferson County: Probation is based on Wood’s early life. It stars him as a probation officer willing to bend the rules to help the clients he monitors, much to the chagrin of his partner and everyone else in his life.
The pilot is executive produced by Wood, McGruder, Noah and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem and Derek Van Pelt. Millicent Shelton (Black-ish, Insecure, The Walking Dead) will direct.
The pickup of Woods’s third Comedy Central special follows the success of his first two. The second, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You, premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January and notched a .27 P18-49 L3 rating, making it the network’s highest-rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Roy Wood Jr.: Father Figure (.31).
Wood will write and star in the digital series The Night Pigeon. It tells the story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest villains in his community, The Gentrifiers.
“Roy is the ultimate multi-hyphenate,” Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Comedy Central’s EVPs and co-heads of Talent and Development,.said a statement. “His top-notch skills as a stand-up comic, performer, writer and producer continue to amaze us – and he does it all while being one of the kindest humans in the business. His wry, observational humor speaks to social and political change and we’re so excited to have Roy join an incredible roster of talent who have chosen to make Comedy Central their home.”
Wood’s pact joins Comedy Central talent deals with Trevor Noah, Abbi Jacobson and Illana Glazer, Jim Jefferies, Chris Distefano, Bill Burr and Al Madrigal, and Anthony Jeselnik.
“It’s my pleasure to partner with a network that understands an artist’s need to take the creative road less traveled to mine humor from complicated social prisms such as jail reform and gentrification,” Wood said. “Excited to tell these stories in a new place (Birmingham) and even more excited to go on this journey with an African-American woman director at the helm. Comedy Central has proven to me to be the right place to take on this challenge. Also, my mom has a long list of chores for me to do. So it’ll be kinda cool to shoot at home.”
Wood joined Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as a correspondent in 2015. In 2017, he was named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series This Is Not Happening, which returned with new episodes this past February. His first full comedy album, Things I Think, I Think: A Live Album, was released in 2013.
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