HBO Buys Stake in FunnyorDie

     June 11, 2008

Written by Nicole Pedersen

HBO has bought a ten percent stake in Will Ferrell’s internet comedy site FunnyorDie, according to Daily Variety. The company, launched in 2006 by the comedian and his producing partners Chris Henchy and Adam McKay, is valued at almost 100 million dollars and has gained an avid fan base through comedy shorts like the famous “Landlord” sketch featuring a drunken baby named Pearl.

The deal with HBO will not only help the FunnyorDie website grow, but will also bring its signature-style programming to the pay cable channel as early as 2009. HBO has ordered an initial 10 hours of programming from Ferrell and co, who also gained Judd Apatow as a partner in 2007.

The initial televised run of FunnyorDie has no specific outline as yet, but Ferrell told Variety that it will “be in the same family of the comedy that we’re doing on the website — just a wide range of anything from a funny offbeat talk-show to a maybe more-traditional-type sitcom to a show with puppets.” For now FunnyorDie is looking for an additional producer to help shepherd their puppet-based takeover of HBO comedy – until then a site spokesman was quoted as telling the cable channel “you pay now bitch.”

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