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[05/03/05 - 12:00 AM]
Comedy Central and Chris Rock Team Up to Create Diversity Program for Aspiring Student Writers

[via press release from Comedy Central]

COMEDY CENTRAL And Chris Rock Team Up To Create Diversity Program For Aspiring Student Writers

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Six Writers From East Coast Schools To Participate In An Intensive Eight-Week Internship At COMEDY CENTRAL

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Internships Will Enable Students To Hone Their Comedy Writing Skills And Offer Exposure To The Inner Workings Of A Major Cable Network

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NEW YORK, May 3, 2005 -- COMEDY CENTRAL is partnering with Chris Rock to establish a diversity program for aspiring student writers, it was announced today by Rock and Doug Herzog, president, COMEDY CENTRAL, during the MTV Networks Upfront presentation at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The program will rotate students through a variety of assignments at the all-comedy network that will focus on improving their comedy writing skills while exposing them to the process of writing for television and providing an opportunity to gain hands-on experience. The eight-week internships will run from June 13 - August 5.

"Chris Rock is one of the great comedic voices working today and we've been exploring ways to collaborate with him for some time," said Herzog. "We're thrilled to team up with Chris and have this opportunity to share our collective knowledge of comedy and the industry with these talented students this year and beyond."

"The old adage goes: 'If it don't work on the page, it don't work on the stage...' Good writing is essential to a good joke, good sitcom, or a good movie. My thanks to Doug Herzog, Michele Ganeless, and the folks at COMEDY CENTRAL who've agreed to partner with us on our effort to diversify talent in the business of being funny," said Rock. "Along with my partner in this program, Bill Stephney, we are also grateful to my colleagues Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle, for their future participation. Finally, out of the exemplary tradition of groundbreaking writers such as James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison, it is comforting to know that we'll be training kids capable of writing 'Dodgeball.'"

"COMEDY CENTRAL is very eager to partner with Chris and contribute to the education and development of the next generation of comedy writers," said Michele Ganeless, executive vice president and general manager, COMEDY CENTRAL. "We hope to provide these students with real hands on experience, both in writing and in learning about how a production is crafted, at a time when they need it the most, the beginning of their careers."

With a goal of expanding to the West Coast in subsequent years, the first-year pilot program is being conducted with the help of a number of East Coast colleges and universities (Columbia University, New York University, Brooklyn College, Emerson College and Howard University). The six students participating in this summer's program were selected by an Advisory Board within COMEDY CENTRAL after reviewing all of the applicants.

Beginning June 13, the selected interns will embark on a carefully planned eight-week schedule that will pull back the curtain and provide insight on the inner-workings of the network, specifically how to write comedy for television, and expose them to industry professionals through speaker-based lunches.

COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 87 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL is a registered trademark of Comedy Partners. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address is http://www.comedycentral.com.





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