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Russell Simmons Inks Overall Deal With HBO

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The prolific music and TV producer has inked a two-year first-look deal with the premium cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Under the pact, Simmons will create and develop projects for HBO.

The deal reunites him with the cabler that was home to Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam. That series, which ran from 1992-97 and 2006-08, is credited with launching the careers of several notable African-American stand-up comedians.

For his part, the co-founder of Def Jam also executive produced two stand-up comedy series on Comedy Central in the past few years. He was an EP on MTV’s docuseries Daddy’s Girls and its spinoff, Run’s House.

Simmons created Def Jam Recordings in 1984, and in 2007, published the New York Times best-seller Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success. Simmons also founded GlobalGrind.com, an online website for entertainment news. His latest best-seller is Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All.

On the film side, Simmons also exec produced features Waist Deep, Lemon and The House I Live In.

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