Jessica Williams is done at The Daily Show; her last episode will be Thursday. But don’t worry, she isn’t going far: she’s got a deal to develop her own show at Comedy Central.
That’s according to Entertainment Weekly, which broke the news. “I feel so many emotions,” she told the magazine. “I feel like I’m growing up and graduating.” Plus they got a hint at what to expect from her new project:
Williams’s new job is to work on writing, producing, and starring in the pilot for a half-hour scripted series. (Naomi Ekperigin, a writer for Broad City and Difficult People, is co-producing.) The still-untitled comedy will center on “a politically-minded young woman who may be ‘woke’ but doesn’t know what she’s doing,” according to the official description. “It’s a show about someone in their 20s who has all these social ideas but still, like, does not have it together,” Williams explains, before adding: “And she’s goofy and silly and funny!”
“The main thing about the show is that I’m excited to, in a silly and funny way, be able to explore ideas of feminism and race and LGBT issues—things that I care about and that I talk about on The Daily Show and that I deal with on 2 Dope Queens,” Williams added.
The magazine also put the move in context, noting that Comedy Central already lost John Oliver to HBO and Samantha Bee to TBS:
With that in mind, letting Williams spread her wings in-house is both a creative and strategic no-brainer, says newly promoted Comedy Central president Kent Alterman. “We see her as a great voice — she’s so dynamic and so funny,” Alterman tells EW. “And she’s kind of grown up there at The Daily Show. Rather than say goodbye to her for her to go somewhere else, we want to make sure that we’re developing with her so that when she’s ready for her next platform, it can actually be with us.”
Sounds like Comedy Central was pretty much willing to cling crying and begging to Williams’ ankles as she tried to walk out the door if that’s what it took to keep her. A smart move!