Music and TV producer Russell Simmons has inked a two-year first-look deal with HBO, bringing him back to the premium cable network that ran his groundbreaking series "Def Comedy Jam".
Under the pact, Simmons will create and develop projects for the channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Simmons' Def Comedy Jam, which ran from 1992-97 and 2006-08, is credited with launching the careers of several notable African-American stand-up comedians.
The co-founder of Def Jam also executive produced two stand-up comedy series on Comedy Central in the past few years. Additionally, he was an executive producer on MTV's reality shows "Daddy's Girls" and its spinoff, "Run's House".
Simmons created Def Jam Recordings in 1984, and in 2007, published the New York Times best-seller "Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success". Simmons also founded GlobalGrind.com, an online website for entertainment news.
His latest best-seller is "Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All". On the film side, Simmons also executive produced features "Waist Deep", "Lemon", and "The House I Live In".