Russell Simmons All Def Digital & Univision's FUSION Announce Multi-Year Comedy Series Deal
Photo Credit: Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons All Def Digital & Univision's FUSION Announce Multi-Year Comedy Series Deal

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital (ADD) and Spanish language broadcast television network Univision’s FUSION today announce a multi-year deal to broadcast a series of comedy roasts produced by ADD. The new ALL DEF ROAST franchise will kick off on election night, November 8, beginning at 9PM. As the nation concludes one of the most contentious and divisive campaign seasons in history, FUSION and ADD will gather to toast, roast and celebrate America the Great with an all-star line up of guests, commentators and comedians. The announcement was jointly made today by Russell Simmons, founder and Chairman of ADD, Daniel Eilemberg, President and Chief Content Officer of FUSION, and Sanjay Sharma, ADD’s Chief Executive.

Upcoming All Def Comedy Roasts will feature a range of major personalities deserving of the unique and inimitable “Def” touch, including some of the best names in popular culture, comedy, music, sports and politics.

This new series of All Def Comedy Roasts builds on a growing content alliance formed between ADD and FUSION. Last year, FUSION acquired rights to broadcast the All Def Movie Awards as part of another multi-year programming deal; the second annual All Def Movie Awards will be broadcast during the 2017 film awards season. The companies also partnered on a documentary, “Prison Kids,” that sparked a conversation about the nation’s broken juvenile justice system.

“Other networks are missing the need for authentic, culturally resonant programming and we could not dream of a better network partner than FUSION. We can’t wait to roast America, All Def style, as we shine a bright light on this campaign season and our country. All Def Digital wants to reinvent the comedy roast format – we’re not starting with a person, we’re starting with the country itself,” said Simmons.

“Earlier this year we partnered with ADD on the All Def Movie Awards, a celebration of the diversity that makes our culture so rich and we are thrilled to further expand our relationship to deliver new programming franchises that are authentic, entertaining, and relevant to our young, diverse audience,” said Daniel Eilemberg, President and Chief Content Officer of FUSION.

“All Def and FUSION are on the front lines of filling generational and cultural gaps by programming to the hugely influential urban millennial audience. Hip hop is youth culture, and youth culture is DEF. There’s nothing more DEF than speaking truth to power and kicking off the ALL DEF ROAST franchise by roasting the biggest honoree ever, America,” said Sharma.

ADD has been moving aggressively into premium long-form content, in part through its first-look deal with HBO for television. Earlier this month ADD and HBO shot “ALL DEF COMEDY,” a stand-up comedy special based on ADD’s wildly successful weekly live comedy event in Hollywood. The show airs November 12. ADD also recently partnered with NBC’s premium comedy platform SeeSo to distribute its first digital series, Blackie Sack, and a number of stand-up specials.

ADD’s digital comedic programming has grown to include shareable social video with consistent virality across social video platforms, professionally produced sketch comedy, unscripted programming, and episodic web series, both from its in-house team and network talent partners. The company delivers over 100M views per month on its owned outlets and its network now reaches over 100M fans across social video platforms. All Def Digital’s slate of original programming also includes the direct-to-consumer feature film “Major Deal,” a comedy that follows the efforts of Mike Massacre (Facebook star and actor King Keraun), a struggling rapper attempting to juggle his not-so-burgeoning career and fatherhood.

The ALL DEF ROAST will be produced by ADD’s head of programming, Chris Conti, and VP of programming, Jeru Tillman, both of whom also produced the All Def Movie Awards as well as ADD’s HBO comedy special.

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