Dave Chappelle gets $50 million deal

Aug. 3, 2004 at 12:40 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Dave Chappelle has signed a deal with Comedy Central worth a reported $50 million, The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.

Citing sources, the paper said the deal will keep "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central for two more seasons, and reward the comedian with a significant portion of the proceeds from DVD sales.

Sources said Comedy Central was under pressure to reach a deal with Chappelle because of interest on the part of other programmers, including NBC. FX reportedly made an eight-figure offer for Chappelle to jump.

The deal reportedly calls for Chappelle to do other projects for Comedy Central's parent company, Viacom, possibly including a deal with Paramount Pictures to star in a movie version of funk star Rick James' autobiography.

"Chappelle's Show" recently landed three Emmy nominations, and has become the highest-rated cable show for the coveted male 18-34 demographic group.

The DVD collection of the show's first season sold 1.7 million units, making it the top-selling TV-related DVD of the year to date.

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