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COMEDY CENTRAL and MTV Networks Announce ‘The Comedy Awards’

hollywoodnews.com: COMEDY CENTRAL and MTV Networks, both divisions of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), have tapped New York City to host “The Comedy Awards,” the first-ever multi-network, multi-platform, annual event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy, it was announced today by Doug Herzog, president, MTV Networks Entertainment Group. A night for comedy of all kinds, “The Comedy Awards” will be taped at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, March 26 and will premiere on Sunday, April 10, 2011, simultaneously across MTV Networks’ COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1 and Nick At Nite.

Comedy elite including James Burrows, Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Grey, Seth MacFarlane, Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller, Jay Roach, Ray Romano, Rory Rosegarten, Phil Rosenthal and many more are among the first to join “The Comedy Awards” Board of Directors which will be responsible for selecting the nominees. The winners will be chosen by an invitation-only voting body comprised of 500-1000 members from the comedy community — including writers, producers, performers and directors. The event will also feature several special awards that will include the voice of the fans through online voting at the event site thecomedyawards.com.

In conjunction with the launch of “The Comedy Awards,” the MTVN Entertainment Group has joined forces with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to establish The American Comedy Fund. Without a union or other protection, many comedians face unique challenges to succeed and survive. The fund will provide much-needed financial assistance, health benefits and other resources for comedians across the country during times of need, crisis or transition. The American Comedy Fund will be administered by EIF in collaboration with the Motion Picture & Television Fund and The Actors Fund.

“The Comedy Awards” will pay homage to the genre and honor the year’s best comedy actors, films, television series and digital content. The event will celebrate the talented writers, directors and performers who have literally changed the laugh track of our lives: the pioneering legends who pushed boundaries; the TV shows that we rushed home to watch;; the movies that are indelibly etched into our collective pop culture memory and the stand-up comedians that make us think while we laugh.

“The Comedy Awards” will take its place among MTV Networks’ rich history of successful tent-pole events, such as MTV’s “Video Music Awards,” Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ Choice Awards” and the COMEDY CENTRAL Emmy-nominated Roast franchise.

Don Mischer Productions’ Don Mischer and Charlie Haykel, alongside Casey Patterson, SVP, event production, MTVN Entertainment Group, are the executive producers. Elizabeth Porter and Jonas Larsen are the executives in charge for the network.

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