Trevor Noah Has A New Film And TV Deal With Viacom

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The parent company of Comedy Central is launching an international production and distribution company with “The Daily Show” host, Trevor Noah, called Day Zero Productions.

The multiyear partnership gives Viacom the first-look rights to Noah’s future projects — TV, feature films or short-form video content — and is similar to the deal the company struck last year with Tyler Perry. As part of the pact with Noah, Viacom will also make what sources describe as a “generous” investment in the venture.

Was Noah underestimated? His 8.89 million followers on Twitter are one indication that on social media, people were paying attention.

From Hollywood Reporter. Story by Bryn Elise Sandberg.

The first project to be born out of the newly expanded relationship is Noah’s previously announced movie adaptation of his best-selling memoir, “Born a Crime“, which will star Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as Noah’s mother.

Paramount Players, Viacom’s new film division led by former AwesomenessTV exec Brian Robbins, will produce the film in conjunction with Day Zero. South Africa born Liesl Tommy (Queen Sugar), who earned a Tony nomination for directing Nyong’o in the play Eclipsed, will direct the movie. In addition to Noah, producers include Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin, and Nyong’o via her Eba Productions.

Since Noah took over “The Daily Show” from Jon Stewart in 2015, he’s established his own version of the biting political commentary for which the show is beloved, largely filtered through the lens of his upbringing as the biracial son of a black mother and white father in apartheid South Africa. Noah has helped “The Daily Show” become the second highest-rated late night talk show among millennials ages 18-34, only behind “The Tonight Show” Starring Jimmy Fallon. In addition, “Daily Show” viewership was up 15 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, and the show’s current season is steady at 1.3 million total viewers. Noah will remain in the host’s seat through 2022 —  Comedy Central renewed the series for five more years in September.

“The degree to which people underestimated Trevor as he took over ‘The Daily Show’ has made his success all the more meaningful,” said Comedy Central President Kent Alterman. “Seeing audiences on multiple platforms embrace his … global perspective has been gratifying beyond measure. Trevor has limitless curiosity, vision and passion. He is just getting started.”

Trevor Noah. Photo: Comedy Central

“Trevor’s creative sensibilities and ability to drive the cultural conversation around issues that matter to our young, global audiences make him an ideal partner for Viacom across every screen we serve,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom’s president and CEO.

Read more at Hollywood Reporter.