Trevor Noah is getting into bed with Viacom — even more so than he already is.
Comedy Central’s parent company announced Monday they had inked a strategic partnership with the “Daily Show” host’s Day Zero Productions for future film and TV projects.
The deal gives Viacom exclusive “first look” rights to projects developed by Noah and Day Zero Productions across all media, including TV, feature films, digital and short-form video content. Viacom will also make an investment in Day Zero. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, Viacom’s indie-film division Paramount Players will adapt Noah’s memoir, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” as a feature film. The previously announced project has Lupita Nyong’o attached to star as Noah’s mother, Patricia.
“Working with the best, most versatile talent in the entertainment industry is a strategic priority for Viacom, which is why we are thrilled to expand our relationship with Trevor and his creative team at Day Zero with this cross-house partnership,” Viacom’s president and CEO Bob Bakish said.
Noah will produce for Day Zero Productions, along with Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin of Mainstay Entertainment, and Nyong’o under her Eba Productions. Liesl Tommy will direct.
“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. We are particularly proud that ‘Born a Crime’ will be produced and distributed by Paramount.”
“I’ve found a strong and incredibly valuable partnership in Viacom,” Noah added. “Our shared vision of bringing diverse cultural conversations and exciting creative projects to the forefront of the entertainment industry and to our constantly expanding audience, continues to strengthen our relationship. I couldn’t be more excited to share ‘Born a Crime’ with Paramount and the very talented Lupita Nyong’o.”
Noah has been a key player for Viacom since 2015, when he took the lead on the late-night Comedy Central talk show ahead Jon Stewart’s exit.
“The degree to which people underestimated Trevor as he took over ‘The Daily Show’ has made his success all the more meaningful,” Kent Alterman, Comedy Central president, said. “Seeing audiences on multiple platforms embrace his incredible comedy chops, his thoughtful and nuanced point of view, and his global perspective has been gratifying beyond measure. Trevor has limitless curiosity, vision and passion. He is just getting started.”