Russell Simmons Signs Deal With HBO

Hip-hop mogul turns to home of 'Def Comedy Jam'

Russell Simmons
Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company
Russell Simmons
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Russell Simmons is reuniting with HBO: the hip-hop mogul has signed a two-year development deal with the cable channel that was home to Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Simmons will create and develop projects for HBO.

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Produced by Simmons, Def Comedy Jam ran on HBO from 1992-97 and 2006-08. The show helped give early exposure to comedians including Dave Chappelle, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and Chris Tucker. Simmons has also produced stand-up comedy series for Comedy Central and was an executive producer on the MTV shows Daddy's Girls and Run's House. 

Simmons helped build Def Jam Recordings into a musical powerhouse with co-founder Rick Rubin, and the label released influential music from the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Slayer. Simmons is also an author: he published his most recent book, Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All, in 2011.