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Chris Hardwick Launches New Production Company, Hires Ex-Uni TV Exec Mike Clements As President

Deadline logo Deadline 3/16/2017 Nellie Andreeva
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@midnight and Talking Dead‘s Chris Hardwick is launching a new production company, Fish Ladder. He is joined by Mike Clements, who was EVP and Head of Comedy Development at Universal TV. Clements will serve as president of Fish Ladder, which has a first-look deal with AMC Studios under the three-year deal Hardwick signed with AMC last summer. There are several projects already in the works under that pact.

Clements joins Fish Ladder after quietly leaving Uni TV almost a year ago, with SVP Jim Donnelly becoming the senior comedy development executive at the studio.

Fish Ladder will focus on scripted and unscripted programming, with an initial emphasis on developing content for the AMC Networks family including AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and BBC America.

“I’m very excited to expand my relationship with AMC Studios to create programming for any and all of their channels,” Hardwick said. “I’m working on developing scripted as well as non-scripted shows and Mike has the perfect balance of skill sets to help me make Fish Ladder a substantial production entity.”

Hardwick has a lot on his plate. He is host and executive producer of Comedy Central’s late-night program @midnight with Chris Hardwick. Under the AMC deal, he is set to host and executive produce multiple programs for the network including the highly rated Talking Dead and the recently announced offshoot series Talking With Chris Hardwick. Additionally, Hardwick is host and executive producer of NBC’s promising new game show series The Wall. And he also created, curated and will host the recently announced ID10T Music Festival and Comic Conival.

Fish Ladder is separate from Nerdist Industries. Hardwick co-founded Nerdist, which was acquired by Legendary several months after its launch, and continues to serve as its CEO and creative head. He hosts his weekly Nerdist Podcast, which garners more than 5.5 million downloads per month.

“Chris Hardwick has an infectious enthusiasm and genuine interest for people and stories that cover the pop-culture landscape,” Clements said. “I am excited to tap into that energy and help Chris build Fish Ladder into a brand that will attract the kind of great storytellers who share that enthusiasm.”

Clements joined Uni TV as head of comedy in summer 2015, overseeing the development of broadcast and cable comedy series. Prior to that, he was Head of Creative Development at Bento Box Entertainment, where he co-created the Comedy Central series The Legends of Chamberlin Heights and was president for Tom Werner’s Warner Bros. TV-based Good Humor Television, executive producing HBO’s The Life & Times Of Tim, MTV’s Good Vibes and NBC’s Are You There, Chelsea?. Early on, Clements was an executive at Fox and the WB.

Hardwick is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and UTA.

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