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Comedy Studio Super Deluxe Signs Stephen Gaghan As Executive Producer

Here's why the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Traffic" is joining Turner's newest comedy initiative.

Stephen Gaghan

Stephen Gaghan

Photo by Cindy Maram for Dig In Magazine www.diginmag.com [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the official launch of Super Deluxe, Turner’s multiplatform digital content brand, which debuts with a strong lineup of names familiar to the comedy world, as well as one unexpected name: Stephen Gaghan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Traffic.”

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Super Deluxe president Wolfgang Hammer, speaking with IndieWire at a launch event last night, offered some clarity into what Gaghan’s role as an executive producer would be at the young studio, which is owned by Turner but operates as an independent unit.

“Steve is an amazing filmmaker,” Hammer said. “I’ve known him for a very long time. He’s a voice. He won an Emmy, he won an Academy Award. There’s no harm in having an Academy Award-winning writer/director to produce stuff for you.”

Hammer clarified that Gaghan would be producing things within the TV studio, but that they wouldn’t necessarily fall into the realm of comedy. “We’re a comedy brand, but we’ll do other things as well.”

The name “Super Deluxe” may in fact sound familiar if you’re a comedy nerd. Turner launched the original site in 2007, just as YouTube was becoming a true craze and Funny or Die was building its own nascent brand. But despite being an early digital platform for creators like Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim and Maria Bamford, the site was shut down in 2008 and its content absorbed into Adult Swim.

Super Deluxe President Wolfgang Hammer

Super Deluxe President Wolfgang Hammer

Courtesy of Super Deluxe

As part of the new Super Deluxe, Heidecker, Wareheim and partner Dave Kneebone have signed a development and production agreement. “[They’re] obviously huge talents themselves, but have an amazing trust within the creative community,” Hammer said.

That trust will extend to a strategy built around incubating new talent. The site will also be working with (per the official release) “fresh, new voices such as Dean Fleischer-Camp (‘Catherine’), Jen Tullock (HBO’s ‘A Lot’) and Hannah Utt, Hye Yun Park and Brandon Rogers.” The latter will be working on the new original half-hour “Magic Funhouse,” “an adult show about a kid’s show.”

As Hammer explained, “Our philosophy generally is that a lot of creatives, especially the eccentric ones, are not good at pitching. So we provide a safe environment for them to go make stuff. Whether that’s television or short form — doesn’t matter.”

Check out what Super Deluxe has in store today at superdeluxe.com.

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