Rogan Near Deal to Host 'Man Show'
Thu Feb 6,12:42 AM ET
By Michael Schneider
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - NBC and Comedy Central are close to sealing an unusual deal that will allow "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan to moonlight as the new star of the cable network's "The Man Show," the series famed for depicting buxom women bouncing on trampolines.
Rogan will replace original hosts Jimmy Kimmel, who now has his own ABC talk show, and Adam Carolla, who remains a "Loveline" radio staple. The show's executive producer, Daniel Kellison, has also departed. The trio will keep a "created by" credit.
According to insiders, the threesome weren't anxious to see the beers-and-babes show continue without them but had earlier given up their ownership stake in exchange for creative control.
"The three of them felt they had taken the concept as far as they could," said Scott Stone, whose Stone Stanley banner produces the series. "We and Comedy Central felt they created a brilliant format that has depth and staying power. We think it's incredible that we have a terrific primetime network talent that wants to take the show to the next step."
Under the pact with NBC, Comedy Central will air a flurry of "Fear Factor" promos that would be the equivalent of a $1 million ad buy. Rogan, who's under exclusive contract to "Fear Factor," would also likely make frequent reference to the grossout reality series while hosting "The Man Show."
NBC executives would not confirm the deal, but insiders said the network sees it as an opportunity to promote "Fear Factor" in what's become an overly crowded reality marketplace.
"The Man Show," which airs Sunday at 10 p.m., remains Comedy Central's third-highest rated series (behind "South Park" and "Crank Yankers"), so the cabler was not anxious to see the franchise die. With Rogan in place, the channel has ordered 22 more episodes.
According to Stone and partner David Stanley, the show will retain most of its current form, including the scantily clad female "Juggy" dancers and the end segment featuring women jumping on trampolines. The show's theme -- an unapologetic look at men and what they do -- will remain.
Comedy Central still has 11 episodes left of the original Kimmel/Corolla "Man Show," which will run starting Feb. 23. All told, 96 episodes of the original "Man Show" were produced.
Production will begin on the new "Man Show" in March, with the first of those episodes likely to premiere in late summer.
Stone Stanley is still scouting for a showrunner to replace Kellison, and is in talks with standup comedian Doug Stanhope to co-host the show with Rogan.