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[03/23/06 - 12:00 AM]
HBO Signs Exclusive Multi-Project Deal with Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan

[via press release from HBO]

HBO Signs Exclusive Multi-Project Deal with Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan

March 23, 2006

HBO has signed a multi-faceted deal with Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan that will include series, specials and other projects, it was announced today by Chris Albrecht, chairman and CEO, HBO. Among the initial projects under the agreement are the development of scripted series and comedy specials. In addition, HBO will have exclusive rights to Simmons and Lathan for all cross-production platforms, with projects to be executive produced through Simmons Lathan Media Group, Simmons and Lathan's production company.

"I've had the privilege of working with Russell and Stan at HBO for many years, and have always admired their ability to stay current in their sensibilities and taste," noted Albrecht. "I've said many times that HBO is only as good as the people who work here, and I can't think of two people I would want inside the HBO fold more than these talented individuals."

"Stan and I have been in business with HBO for more than 15 years," said Simmons, chairman of Rush Communications and Simmons Lathan Media Group. "They have allowed us the freedom to knock down doors and have supported us in creative ventures that would not have seen the light of day anywhere else in Hollywood, and for those reasons we are thrilled to build upon this great relationship."

"We are already working on exciting and innovative comedy, dramatic and variety projects," said Lathan, CEO of Simmons Lathan Media Group. "We are excited about bringing new talent to the forefront, and continuing to develop our relationships with established talent."

Simmons and Lathan began their collaboration with HBO in 1989 on the long-running series "Def Comedy Jam" and are currently executive producers of the critically acclaimed series "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry," which launched on the network in 2001 and returns with a new season later this year.





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· RUSSELL SIMMONS PRESENTS: DEF POETRY (HBO)





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