HBO invests in Will Ferrell's FunnyorDie.com

Cable network is also commissioning 10 half-hours of programming on the site, according to <i>Variety</i>.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane

HBO has taken a small stake in the online comedy site FunnyorDie.com, Variety has reported.

The two-year-old site is backed by comedian Will Ferrell, along with Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. The Web site also has the backing of Sequoia Capital.

The deal with HBO, a division of Time Warner, also calls for the site to produce 10 half-hours of programming, Variety said.

The programming could range from a "funny, offbeat talk show to a maybe more-traditional-type sitcom to a show with puppets," Ferrell told the paper.

Update at 8:46 a.m. PT: Funny or Die has confirmed the deal, but did not give specifics on how large an investment has been made.

"I don't want to overstate the importance of this deal, but this is the missing link moment where TV and Internet finally merge," Ferrell said in a release. "It will change the way we as human beings perceive and interact with reality. Okay, I overstated it. But it is an exciting deal."

The site, which drew a big initial crowd thanks to "The Landlord" video featuring Ferrell and McKay's toddler daughter, now averages 3.2 million unique visitors per month, according to a press release.