[music|The Music of the Night- Phantom of the Opera 2004 Soundtrack]
"Dane Cook, HBO make "long-term" comedy team"
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - HBO said Wednesday that it has signed a multiproject deal with stand-up comedian Dane Cook that will include series, specials and other projects, marking the first deal of its kind for the premium cable service.
Among the initial projects under the agreement are a feature-length concert film, development of a scripted series and a comedy documentary series titled "Tourgasm." In addition, HBO said it will have exclusive rights to Cook for all nontraditional media platforms, including mobile and broadband.
HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht said that once the opportunity arose to form a partnership with Cook, the network jumped on the chance to "get in business with him as many ways as we could."
Said Albrecht: "I have rarely if ever seen the kind of response that Dane gets from the crowd when he comes onstage. ... We're also looking at the long-term picture of helping to build Dane's career and (helping) him to strengthen his brand. And at the same time he'll be an important part of the HBO brand."
Cook said that working with HBO is "a dream come true."
The concert film, to be directed by Marty Callner, will be shot April 15 at Cook's sold-out show at the TD Banknorth Garden in his hometown of Boston. Meanwhile, "Tourgasm" follows Cook and three other comedians (Gary Gulman, Robert Kelly and Jay Davis) on their spring 2005 college tour, which covered 20 shows in 30 days across 28 states.
In addition, Cook and HBO will develop a pilot for a half-hour comedy series, Albrecht said. Cook's deal also calls for him to develop original content for new media including broadband and mobile phones, Albrecht said, pointing to HBO's exclusive multiyear deal inked in December with Cingular Wireless that will see the two entities team for two premium wireless content services. HBO added that other projects will be announced as they are confirmed.
Cook released his second comedy album, "Retaliation," last year; it became the highest chart debut by a comic in SoundScan's almost 14-year history, at No. 4. The album has been certified platinum. His first album, "Harmful if Swallowed," is in the top 10 of Billboard's catalog chart.
Earlier this year, Cook started shooting the Lionsgate film "Employee of the Month," opposite Jessica Simpson, and will follow that with the Walt Disney Co.'s "Dan in Real Life," opposite Steve Carell. His other film credits include "Mr. 3000," "Torque" and "Stuck on You."