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Comedy Central Names Sarah Babineau, Jonas Larsen New Development Heads

Variety logo Variety 2/10/2017 Daniel Holloway
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Comedy Central has tapped Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen to lead development for the Viacom-owned cable channel, filling the void created when development chief Kent Alterman was promoted last year to network president.

Babineau and Larsen have each been named executive vice president, talent and development — Babineau for the East Coast and Larsen for the West Coast.

“It’s not just that we now have two people overseeing talent and development, it’s also that they are both smarter and more talented than me,” said Alterman, to whom both executives report.

Babineau was promoted last year to senior vice president, original programming, East Coast, leading the network’s New York-based development team. In her new role, she adds oversight for the East Coast talent team. Babineau first joined Comedy Central in 2014 as vice president, original programming and development, East Coast. She is the executive in charge of production for “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, and contributed to the show’s transition from previous host Jon Stewart to Noah. She previously worked at Amazon Studios as well as Alterman and Michael Aguilar’s production company Dos Tontos.

Larsen has served since 2010 as Comedy Central’s senior vice president, talent and specials. He will continue to oversee the West Coast talent team and adds oversight of development. A native of Denmark, Larsen has overseen the network’s standup specials and its “Comedy Central Roast” franchise. Before joining Comedy Central, he ran his own unscripted production company, Y27 Entertainment, developing “1 vs. 100” for NBC and executive producing ABC competition series “Master of Champions.”

Babineau and Larsen’s promotions come against a backdrop of reorganization at Viacom. In announcing a new overall strategy for the company Thursday, CEO Bob Bakish said that Viacom would place a greater emphasis on its core six cable channels — including Comedy Central.

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