Comedy Central Keeps Colbert

Debuting to strong ratings and solid reviews, The Colbert Report gets reupped through '06

By Charlie Amter Nov 03, 2005 12:15 AMTags

Comedy Central is sticking with Stephen Colbert--and that's tonight's wørd.

The cable network has given The Colbert Report a full-year order, ensuring the new half-hour The Daily Show spinoff, which pokes fun of political punditry, is going to be around until at least 2007.

"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," deadpanned Colbert in a press release Wednesday.

Since the show bowed Oct. 17, it has been a big hit for the network.

The satirical homage to cable-news talking heads like Bill O'Reilly averaged 1.2 million viewers across its first four nights--largely succeeding in retaining The Daily Show faithful, something past endeavors (see: Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn) have failed to do.

The Colbert Report keeps 86 percent of The Daily Show viewers. Partially as a result of increased attention on The Colbert Report, The Daily Show recently posted its second-most watched week ever the same week Colbert debuted, pulling in 1.6 million viewers.

"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," said Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central's executive vice president of original programming.

Indeed, the show's success is good news not only for former Daily Show correspondent Colbert, but Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart. The Colbert Report is produced by Stewart's Busboy Productions in association with Spartina Productions.

The Emmy-winning Stewart, who has two years left on his current deal with Comedy Central, may even appear on The Colbert Report soon.

"I don't stoop to start-ups," Stewart joked to the New York Times when asked if he would guest on the new series. Stewart added he would consider making an appearance, "if the show gets its footing."

For his part, Colbert could give a damn if Stewart makes a visit to the Report.

"His shadow is dark enough," Colbert joked to the Times in the same article. "I don't want to ask the source of darkness for help. I'm not interested in that same liberal claptrap. That meow, meow, meow, ironic detachment.

"We're going to deal with truth on my show."

Bestselling author Bruce Feiler gets a taste of Colbert's truth Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.