Comedy Central has promoted Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen to Co-Heads of Original Content for the network. In their elevated roles, the pair will have oversight for all comedy content developed across multiple platforms including linear, theatrical, live, audio and the newly-formed Comedy Central Productions. The promotion was announced today by Kent Alterman, President, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land, to whom each will report.
“Through their incredible eye for talent and innate ability to develop the right project for the right platform, Sarah and Jonas have helped build the Comedy Central brand into the strongest position it has ever been,” said Alterman. “Working closely with them often makes me feel a little less sharp, but in a good way. We are so lucky to have them.”
In her new role, Babineau will relocate to the West Coast, working out of Comedy Central’s Hollywood offices, and have oversight over the development of all scripted content developed by the brand (narrative, sketch, animation), including those developed by Comedy Central Productions for third parties, as well as liaise with Paramount Players on Comedy Central-branded feature films. She will also continue as the Executive in Charge of Production for the Emmy-nominated The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Larsen will oversee the development of all unscripted content developed by the brand (format, documentary, specials), including those developed by CCP for third parties, as well as all stand-up, live events and audio offerings.
Together, they have co-managed Comedy Central’s talent and development teams since 2017, and are credited with increasing the network’s presence across multiple platforms including digital, live and audio. The two are also playing a key role in the launch of Comedy Central Productions, a new studio-production arm, and have been instrumental in identifying and retaining key Comedy Central talent via first look productions deals including Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Roy Wood, Jr., Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs, Dan Powell, Jim Jefferies, Anthony King and Chris Distefano.
The promotions follow a strong quarter of ratings growth for Q2, driven by the brand’s core, young male demos. Among M18-34, ratings jumped +12% to a .25 rating, Comedy Central’s biggest year-over-year growth in that demo since 2014. For P18-34, Comedy Central ratings increased +6% (.21), the second straight quarter that the brand posted growth in the demo. The brand also recorded its best quarter ever with 1.7 billion social streams, up +30% versus the same quarter last year.
Larsen joined Comedy Central in 2010 as Vice President, Specials and was soon after elevated to Senior Vice President, Talent and Specials. In 2017 he was promoted to EVP and Co-Head of Talent & Development where he expanded his oversight to the west coast development team. He also has overseen scripted series such as critically-acclaimed Corporate and the upcoming South Side and Robbie, along with comedic interview series, Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik, the return of the Crank Yankers, and Comedy Central’s newest late-night entry, Lights Out with David Spade.
Babineau joined Comedy Central in 2014 as Vice President, Original Programming and Development, East Coast and was a key player in the launch and evolution of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. As EVP and Co-Head of Talent & Development, Babineau oversees all East Coast-based franchises including The Other Two, Alternatino with Arturo Castro, Klepper, This Week at the Comedy Cellar and the upcoming series Awkwafina, and also served as the EIC for iconic Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City.
“We could not be more excited and honored to continue building the Comedy Central brand and expanding its amazing legacy,” said Babineau and Larsen. “To come to work every day with the goal of making the world laugh is a dream come true.”