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Chris Rock reportedly makes $40m deal with Netflix for two comedy specials

The Emmy-nominated comedian, who has been away from standup for eight years, is also planning a world tour to coincide with first shows recording in 2017

Chris Rock is making his return to the standup arena, following an eight-year absence, with two upcoming Netflix comedy specials in a deal rumored to be worth $40m.

Rock will tape his first show for the streaming giant in 2017, according to Variety, but its unclear when the second will air. Hes also currently planning a world standup tour to coincide with the recording of his first show.

Rock previously recorded standup specials for cable giant HBO, where he aired Bigger & Blacker and Never Scared, as well as The Chris Rock Show. The actor recently won an Emmy nomination for directing HBOs standup special Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.

Rock last worked with Netflix in 2015, appearing in A Very Murray Christmas special with Bill Murray. In February, he hosted the Academy awards, where he received strong notices for his droll handling of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but was criticised for his depiction of Asian Americans during a skit.

In a statement, Netflixs chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, praised Rock as comic royalty. He added: There is no one like him, and Netflix offers the global platform and creative freedom that will serve as a perfect home for someone with his incredible talent.

Amazon, Hulu and HBO were also bidding for the specials, according to Variety.

Rock joins a string of high-profile comedians who have signed deals for standup specials on Netflix, including Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt, whose special, Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping, won an Emmy for Netflix. In addition to Rocks two specials, the streaming service is also teaming with comedians Joe Rogan, Dana Carvey, Michael Che, Gabriel Iglesias, Reggie Watts, and Colin Quinn (with the latter directed by Jerry Seinfeld).

In August, Netflix announced the imminent release of eight new specials, bringing the platforms total to over two dozen for 2016.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/oct/13/chris-rock-netflix-comedy-specials