'Last Comic,' 'Talent' Earn Encores

TelevisionEntertainmentAmerica's Got Talent (tv program)SportsFootballSimon Cowell

NBC will try to carry over the success it's had this summer to next summer -- or, in the case of "America's Got Talent," even sooner than that.

The network has picked up additional seasons of both "Talent" and its other summer competition show, "Last Comic Standing," for 2007. While "Last Comic" will remain in its warm-weather home, season two of "America's Got Talent" will join the NBC midseason schedule in January, following the end of the NFL season.

"Both of these series have been bright spots on the summer television landscape," NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly says. "We think they'll be around for a long time."

"America's Got Talent" is the most-watched original show of the summer thus far, with its performance episodes averaging about 11.7 million viewers a week. The series, created by "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, will award a million-dollar prize to the winner next month.

NBC announced in May that "Talent" would be part of its midseason plans but didn't formally pick it up until now.

"Last Comic" returned this summer after seemingly dying on the vine two years ago, when NBC rushed a third cycle onto its fall schedule and it tanked. The network pulled the finale from its schedule (it eventually aired on Comedy Central), which led to original host and executive producer Jay Mohr to leave the show.

Since its return, though, ratings have been solid. It draws about 8.2 million viewers per week and has also performed fairly well among NBC's target audience of adults 18-49.

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