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Comedy Central Extends 'Colbert Report'

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Comedy Central said Wednesday that it has renewed its news-spoof show "The Colbert Report" through 2006.

The cable network initially ordered an eight-week run of the show, a companion piece to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" that features "Daily Show" alum Stephen Colbert spoofing news-commentary programs. The news of the extension comes less than three weeks after "Colbert" made its debut Oct. 17 in the post-"Daily Show" slot at 11:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays.

Lauren Corrao, executive vp original programming and development at Comedy Central, praised executive producers Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin and Colbert, calling the trio a "talented and creative team."

"In two short weeks, 'The Colbert Report' has seamlessly paired itself with 'The Daily Show' to form one of the smartest and funniest hours of television," she said. "Giving the show a full-year order was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made in my career."

"Colbert" is averaging 1.2 million total viewers per half-hour episode, a 141% increase compared with the same period a year ago, and is retaining 86% of its lead-in audience from "The Daily Show."

Joked Colbert: "I want to thank Comedy Central for picking up the show, but more importantly I want to congratulate Comedy Central for picking up the show. This says really good things about you guys."

"Colbert," the first project developed under the network's first-look agreement with Stewart's Busboy Prods. Inc., is produced by Busboy in association with Spartina Prods. Inc. Lou Wallach is the executive in charge of production for Comedy Central.

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Kimberly Speight writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

For more news from The Hollywood Reporter, click here.

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