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Viacom invests in Trevor Noah prodco with first-look deal attached

Viacom is set for a strategic partnership with Day Zero Productions, an international production and distribution company led by Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Under the long-term deal, Viacom will have exclusive first-look rights on all projects developed by Noah and his prodco across media including television, feature films, digital and short-form video content.

Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, will also make an investment in Day Zero, but financial terms of the transaction are yet to be disclosed.

As part of the relationship, Paramount Players will adapt Noah’s memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, as a feature film. Starlet Lupita Nyong’o is attached to star as Noah’s mother, Patricia.

Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom, said: “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.

“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.”

Noah added: “I’ve found a strong and incredibly valuable partnership in Viacom. 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.”