HBO Buys into Will Ferrell's Funny or Die
Site's creators will provide programming for network
The deal calls for the Funny or Die team, which includes founders Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy and producer-director Judd Apatow, to provide 10 half-hours of programming for HBO. The cable network is also acquiring a small ownership stake in the company.
"This groundbreaking deal brings the innovative spirit of Funny or Die into the television medium," says Michael Lombardo, head of the HBO programming group. "With HBO's long tradition of great comedy, this partnership makes perfect sense."
Adds Ferrell: "I don't want to overstate the importance of this deal, but this is the missing link moment where TV and internet finally merge. It will change the way we as human beings perceive and interact with reality. OK, I overstated it ... but it is an exciting deal."
Funny or Die launched last year and quickly became a go-to place for comedy online with videos like "The Landlord" (starring Ferrell and McKay's daughter Pearl). It draws better than 3 million users each month.
There are no details yet about the programming Funny or Die will produce for HBO. Some of the half-hours will likely be one-offs, while others could feature continuing characters.