Comedy Central Builds on South Park


New York -- Comedy Central is creating an animation block
on Monday nights this summer, and it has picked a new show for the primetime slot
following South Park on Wednesdays, officials said last week.

At the network's upfront presentation, Comedy Central
senior vice president of programming Eileen Katz said the network is debuting its
Monday-night animation block June 22.

Comedy Central is pairing a new season of its veteran Dr.
Katz: Professional Therapist
with a new cartoon series, Bob and Margaret. Dr.
will air at 10 p.m., while Bob and Margaretwill follow at 10:30. Bob
and Margaret
is about a British dentist and his podiatrist wife.

Looking to keep South Park viewers tuned to the
channel, Comedy Central is also scheduling a new series, Upright Citizens Brigade,
at 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays, right after the red-hot hit about foul-mouthed Colorado kids,
which airs at 10 p.m. Upright Citizens Brigade, a show featuring a sketch-comedy
troupe, will premiere Aug. 12. The comic group will go out into the real world as part of
the show, in which they play underground secret agents, and the show will sometimes
involve the unaware public in its shenanigans.

Starting with Monday and Wednesday nights, Comedy
Central's strategy is to focus on the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. hour and to counterprogram
against the broadcast networks, which typically air dramas and newsmagazines at that hour,
Katz said.

Ratings phenomenon South Park will start its second
season May 22, with 20 new episodes ready, according to Katz.

Comedy Central officials told media buyers that the network
garnered its highest primetime rating ever, a 0.8, in March. Comedy Central now reaches
roughly 50 million homes, and it is expected to hit the 55 million-home level by the end
of the year.