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Exit laughing: Lauren Corrao leaves Comedy Central

LaurenCorrao Lauren Corrao, the longtime Comedy Central head of programming and development more recently responsible for ushering in "The Sarah Silverman Program," is leaving the cable channel.

In a memo sent to staffers Monday, MTV Networks Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog said he and Comedy Central President Michele Ganeless would use the next few months to find a replacement. Corrao's direct-reports are Senior Vice President Jim Sharp and newly hired Lisa Leingang, but sources said an external hire is more likely. Corrao will stay at the Viacom-owned cable network through the end of her contract, which expires in December, and will thereafter segue into producing.

Herzog credited Corrao, who has been at the network for seven years, with the rise of hits like the short-lived "Chappelle's Show," "Drawn Together" and "Reno 911!" More recently, she signed comedian Demetri Martin to his own series ("Important Things with Demetri Martin").

But lately, the network has struggled to find new hits. Among the more recent high-profile launches that didn't click are "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire" and the David Alan Grier news show "Chocolate News," both of which flopped. A renewal for "Michael & Michael Have Issues" is also unlikely.

In a statement, Corrao said, "I feel that this is exactly the right time in this ever changing world of television to personally create, produce and own content. I am very much looking forward to the new and exciting challenges in the next chapter of my career."

Before joining Comedy Central, Corrao was a producing partner with Peter Tolan and helped shepherd such series as ABC's "The Job."

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: Comedy Central

 
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