Stephen Colbert, Funny or Die Prep Primetime Pickleball Special for CBS

Pickleball is going primetime.

The increasingly popular racket sport, which combined elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton, will be the focus of a comedic primetime special called Pickled, set to air on CBS and on Paramount+ later this year.

Late Show host Stephen Colbert’s Spartina Productions, CBS Studios and Funny or Die are behind the two-hour special, which promises “competitive” and “celebrity-packed” pickleball teams competing for the “Golden Gherkin.” The exact format, celebrity competitors and premiere date will be announced later.

“Funny Or Die is thrilled to partner with our friends at Spartina and CBS Studios on Pickled,” said Mike Farah, CEO of Funny or Die. “We can’t wait to bring together celebrities from the worlds of comedy, sports and beyond, to play in the highest-stakes and lowest-impact pickleball tournament ever created for television.”

The special is the second major production (joining Roku’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story) for Funny or Die since the company was sold to designer, philanthropist and former Democratic National Committee finance chair Henry R. Muñoz III last year. Muñoz is a producer on Pickled, alongside Funny or Die’s Farah and Joe Farrell, and Spartina’s Colbert, Carrie Byalick, Evelyn McGee Colbert and Tom Purcell.

Colbert’s Spartina inked a first-look deal with CBS Studios last year. The company’s projects include Tooning Out the News on Paramount+, and a pair of shows on Comedy Central.

“I love hosting The Late Show, but at the end of the day — and I’m specifically talking about the hours between 8 and 10 p.m. Eastern — I see Pickled as a chance to bring lots of different people together for something playful and unpredictable,” added Colbert in a statement.

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