Comedy Central has announced the creation of an in-house live entertainment division to be headed up by network veteran Mitch Fried.
Under the new division, dubbed Comedy Central Live Entertainment, the channel will attempt to bolster its business through stand-up tours, comedy festival partnerships and by releasing new comedy albums and DVDs.
"Creating the Live Entertainment division is the next step in the evolution of the Comedy Central brand that has been steadily growing and expanding out of our viewers' living rooms and into their everyday lives," Comedy Central president Michael Ganeless said in a statement.
The first project under Comedy Central Live Entertainment is a multi-faceted deal with comedian Stephen Lynch, who has previously been featured on the channel. The deal will encompass a forthcoming international stand-up tour, to be followed by a one-hour Comedy Central performance that will later be released on DVD via Comedy Central Home Entertainment.
On the festival side, Comedy Central has recently entered into a multi-year partnership with the New York Comedy Festival. The agreement will give the festival its first national television partner, which will be used to showcase the event's comedy lineup. The New York Comedy Festival runs Nov. 5-9 across multiple venues throughout Manhattan.
Fried, who established Comedy Central Live!, the network's six-year-old touring subsidiary, will serve as senior VP of Comedy Central Live Entertainment.