Chris Rock to Produce Late-Night Series for FX Network
FX has closed a deal for six installments of the Untitled Chris Rock/W. Kamau Bell Late Night Show, which premieres this summer, announced Nick Grad, Executive Vice President, Original Programming, FX.
The weekly half-hour series, from Executive Producer Chris Rock, stars standup comedian W. Kamau Bell who will dissect politics, pop culture, race, religion, the media and sex in a weekly half hour.
"The presentation pilot that Chris and Kamau shot was terrific," said Grad. "Kamau is a tremendous young comedian who has a very smart and sharp take on life. Working with Chris will only bring out the best of his talents. This series, along with Russell Brand's Strangely Uplifting, puts FX on really solid footing in the latenight arena."
The series is produced by FX Productions. Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar, and W. Kamau Bell are Executive Producers.
"I think Kamau is one of the funniest guys out there and I can't wait to work with the good people at FX," said Rock.
Bell added, "Clearly this is a great opportunity. I'm going to do my best to make the most of it. I feel lucky to be working with one of the greatest comedians of all time, Chris Rock, and the most forward-thinking network, FX."
W. Kamau Bell is one of the fastest rising socio-political comics in the United States, and a founding member of the comedy group Laughter Against the Machine. Praised by Punchline Magazine as "one of our nation's most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit," Kamau has been voted SF's best comedian by the SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian, and 7x7 Magazine. His recent stand up album, Face Full of Flour, was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes and Punchline Magazine. Kamau is best known for his critically acclaimed solo show The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, which was a Time Out NY critic's pick in the 2010 NY Comedy Festival and a comedy pick in The Guardian during his 2011 run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Time Out NY gives him "FOUR STARS" and offers, "Bell finds comic gold...offering provocative insights into an ugly reality." The San Francisco Chronicle raves "The personable, quick comic skewers racism, stereotypes and an assortment of iconic taboos with provocative wit. FOUR STARS!" The SF Weekly has called Kamau "smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle," though he was more excited that they called him "handsome."
Chris Rock, the Brooklyn-raised comedian who has garnered four Emmy(R) Awards and three Grammy Awards as a writer and stand-up comedy work, recently appeared on Broadway to rave reviews in The Motherf**ker With The Hat. He will be seen on the big screen this May in Lionsgate's What to Expect When You're Expecting, followed by DreamWorks' Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted; the third film in the hugely successful franchise in which Rock voices "Marty." Later in the year he will appear opposite Julie Delpy, who also serves as writer/director, in 2 Days in New York, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and for which his performance has already garnered critical acclaim. Rock's first documentary, Good Hair, won the 2009 Sundance "Special Jury Prize" and was named one of the "Top Five Documentaries" in 2009 by the National Board of Review. His critically acclaimed HBO stand-up specials include Bring the Pain, Bigger & Blacker, Never Scared and Kill the Messenger. Rock made his feature film debut in Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987. Additional film credits include Boomerang, New Jack City, Lethal Weapon 4, Dogma, Nurse Betty, Head of State (directorial debut), Down to Earth ( co-wrote), I Think I Love My Wife ( wrote & directed), The Longest Yard, Madagascar films, Grown Ups, Death at a Funeral, the upcoming 2 Days in New York and, of course, Pootie Tang. TV credits include NBC's Saturday Night Live, HBO's The Chris Rock Show and Everybody Hates Chris, which he co-created and narrated. His debut book, Rock This, appeared on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
In 2012, the FX schedule will feature eight original comedy series: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Archer, Louie, Wilfred, Unsupervised, Strangely Uplifting, and the Untitled Chris Rock/Kamau Bell Late Night Show.
2011 marked a banner year for FX comedy series. Every returning show posted ratings gains versus prior season. Sunny posted its best ratings ever last season and remains the highest-rated comedy in FX history. Wilfred, which debuted in June, was the number-one comedy premiere ever for FX and is the highest-rated first season comedy in FX history. Louie, starring Louis C.K., was named TIME magazine's best show of 2011, and received AFI honors as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Programs of 2011, as well as Television Critics Association Broadcast Television Journalists Association award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. Louis C.K. received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (an FX first) and also Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon received a WGA Award nomination in the Comedy Series category.
FX Productions co-produces the award-winning hit drama series Sons of Anarchy, and award-winning hit drama series Justified. FXP produces the critically acclaimed hit comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Louie, Archer, Wilfred, and Unsupervised, Strangely Uplifting, and the Untitled Chris Rock/Kamau Bell Late Night Show.
FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 98 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of critically acclaimed and award-winning original series, an established film library of acquired box-office hit movies, an impressive lineup of acquired hit series, and sports. For more information, go to www.FXnetworks.com.