EXCLUSIVE: Amber Ruffin and her writing/producing partner Jenny Hagel are expanding their relationship with NBCUniversal.
The pair, who are behind Peacock’s late-night variety series The Amber Ruffin Show, have struck an overall deal with Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
The duo, who also write on Late Night with Seth Meyers, will develop and produce series for the studio.
They are also launching their own production company – Straight To Cards. They have hired Justin McGriff, who is a producer on The Amber Ruffin show, as a creative executive for the company. He has been tasked to “make cool shit, with nice people”. The company is also looking to expand the team with an LA-based development executive.
Ruffin and Hagel met years ago at a short-lived Second City outpost in Denver, where they performed in a show called How I Lost My Denvirginity (“it was heralded as the show that sunk Second City Denver”). After a few years away, they reconnected on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where they have become integral members of the NBC show.
Ruffin told Deadline recently that she has a number of projects in the works, including Aunties, which comes from The Amber Ruffin Show writer Shantira Jackson. The project, which Ruffin is exec producing alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, tells the story of what happens when a young woman goes back home and helps raise the women who raised her. It landed a put pilot commitment from NBC last November.
“I’m frigging thrilled to partner with Universal Television to work on my favorite projects with my bestest friend,” Amber Ruffin.
Hagel added, “Straight to Cards is such an exciting opportunity to create new shows that highlight points of view that are underrepresented in the TV landscape, like those of queer writers and writers of color. And it’s an extra bonus that I get to do it with Amber Ruffin, the absolute funnest person I know.”
“Amber and Jenny have contributed so much to our company as individuals, and somehow find another gear when they collaborate together,” added Jim Donnelly, EVP, Comedy Development, Universal Television. “We’re thrilled about this partnership, and look forward to helping Amber and Jenny bring their irresistible energy to new audiences in all kinds of formats.”
Ruffin is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Hagel is repped by ICM Partners.
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