"The Sarah Silverman Program" will be back at Comedy Central, and thanks to sister network Logo, with all the money it needs for a new season.
Comedy Central announced the third-season pickup of the series on Wednesday (March 4). "Sarah Silverman" will return with new episodes early next year, and the show will also get a second run on Logo, which targets gay and lesbian viewers and like Comedy Central is part of MTV Networks.
"We love Sarah and we love this show -- we're thrilled it's returning for a third season,'" Comedy Central's Lauren Corrao says. "'The Sarah Silverman Program' is truly a brand-builder for our network, and by using the synergy within the MTV Networks, the second window deal with Logo allows us to broaden the show to an audience that will only expand the popularity of this hit series."
The deal with Logo also allows the show to stay on the air, period. Reports in the trades earlier this week said that Comedy Central wanted to cut the show's budget by 20 percent, and Silverman and her fellow executive producers threatened to leave the show. The sharing agreement with Logo will let the show keep its full budget (a little over $1 million per episode), and Silverman and the rest of the exec producers -- Dan Sterling, Rob Schrab and Heidi Herzon -- will all continue to work on the show.
"The Sarah Silverman Program" averaged 1.5 million viewers in its second season and beat everything in its timeslot (Thursdays at 10:30), broadcast or cable, in the channel's core audience of men under 35. The show also earned a Writers Guild Award nomination for best new series and a GLAAD Award nod for best new series in 2008.
"Sarah Silverman has created an incredibly inventive and comedically revolutionary show that is beloved by the gay and lesbian audience," says Brian Graden, Logo's president. "Expanding the third season run to Logo is a natural extension that we're thrilled is happening."
Saving 'Silverman': Comedy Central renews 'Sarah'
Sister network Logo steps in to help cover costs
Sarah Silverman of 'The Sarah Silverman Program'