Andy Samberg is on a roll!
FOX Broadcasting Company has inked a multi-year deal with the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and new Golden Globe winner’s The Lonely Island. Under the pact, Samberg and his partners Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone will produce comedy content on digital platforms like Hulu and Roku, with an eye toward developing them into full series on FOX, FX and FXX, and other nets.
“Andy and I came up with this deal on a cocktail napkin last night,” joked FOX Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly joked to critics at today’s Television Critics Association press tour, adding that he hopes to find the next Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Key & Peele out of the deal.
“I’ve admired Akiva, Andy and Jorma’s work for many years, and they share our desire to give creators more independence and the opportunity to take risks,” said Reilly said in a press release announcing the agreement. “These guys know what it takes to break through — whether online or on air — and they are the perfect partners to help us find the next generation of comedy hits.”
Lifelong friends Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone launched The Lonely Island as a tongue-in-cheek rap trio named for the apartment they shared as fledgling comics, eventually scoring three not-for-the-faint-of-heart, platinum singles, “I’m On a Boat,” “Jizz in My Pants” and “I Just Had Sex.” In 2005, they signed onto SNL — Samberg as a cast member and Schaffer and Taccone as writer/directors — where they were responsible for “D*ck In A Box,” “I’m On A Boat,” “Lazy Sunday” and other memorable digital shorts. Their YouTube channel has been visited more than 1.24 billion times.
“Andy, Jorma and I are super excited to work with Mr. Reilly and everyone at Fox to make innovative and cool TV shows that might not otherwise make it through the normal development process,” said Schaffer in the same statement. “Reilly has given us a sandbox to play in, and we’ve brought our shovels, buckets, towels, sunblock, some old Grisham paperbacks, a Luna bar – wait – what was I talking about again?”
The deal will mark FOX’s third multi-platform development initiative, joining the alternative animation unit Animation Domination High-Def, and a 2013 deal with film producers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia’s digital studio, WIGS.
Meanwhile Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which won its own Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series, will air a special episode on Sunday, Feb. 2, after Super Bowl XLVIII. “Operation Broken Feather” features Samberg’s Jake wondering if Amy will leave the Nine-Nine for a post in the Major Crimes unit. Fred Armisen and Joe Thiesman will guest star.