Paramount launches new ad-funded comedy show

Digital channel Paramount Comedy is launching its first ad-funded TV series with US city Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has partnered with Paramount sales house Viacom Brand Solutions (VBS) for the deal, brokered by R&R Partners and Initiative.

The ten ad-funded programmes form a retrospective comedy series based on Simon and Garfunkel trips to Las Vegas, and will be shot around the US city in a documentary-style format.

The series, part of Paramount Comedy new talent strand Shortcuts, will support Las Vegas tourist board’s partnership with VBS. The tourist board will sponsor the Paramount Comedy strand Make Mine a Double, from April 30 to December 30, both on-air and online at www.paramountcomedy.com.

The strand runs from 9pm to 10pm, Monday to Thursday, and 6pm to 9pm at the weekend, and shows two back-to-back episodes of series, including Scrubs and Two and a Half Men.

Las Vegas is among the world’s highest spending cities on marketing. Last year it spent more than $46m (£23m) on advertising alone.

VBS director of partnerships Daniel Salem says the advertiser-funded programming element of the deals demonstrates Paramount’s access to comedians and its ability to work with brands. The comedy series is written and performed by comedians Tom Meeten and Simon Farnaby of Spoons and The Mighty Boosh fame.

Last week VBS, which is also the sales house for MTV and Nickelodeon, signed a year-long deal with Magners Irish Cider to be the headline sponsor for stand-up comedy on Paramount. The deal also includes a series of comedy tours and a microsite.

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