*HBO has signed a new overall first-look deal with producer Russell Simmons and his new media company All Def Digital (ADD).
The pact calls for the Def Jam Records co-founder and his digital team to develop new projects for the cable channel. His previous two-year deal included an executive producer role on Steve McQueen’s upcoming limited series “Codes Of Conduct.”
Simmons currently has three HBO projects in the pipeline through ADD, including the Shaka King comedy “These Are My Friends,” which follows four real-life rap and hip-hop artists as they struggle to keep their dream alive. A series based on the Broken Lizard comedy troupe and a show based on ADD’s weekly live comedy nights are also on deck.
Also, Simmons and Stan Lathan are producing a Def Comedy Jam 25th Anniversary Special that will feature an all-star lineup of comedians.
“HBO has been like a home to me for a generation,” says Simmons. “Together, we have discovered new voices and helped launch emerging artists that deserved a mainstream platform. I am even more excited by the next generation of talent and shows that we are developing through All Def Digital TV.”