Comedy Central cranks up ‘Yankers’

Skein by 'Man Show' creators posts strong numbers

Comedy Central has ordered 20 additional episodes of “Crank Yankers,” after airing just five segs of the primetime series.

The 10-episode first season of “Crank Yankers,” in which actual crank calls form the basis for a storyline about a twisted town inhabited solely by puppets, debuted June 2. Its ratings have consistently built upon its lead-in.

“We’re really pleased so far, and the show has got a lot of potential,” Comedy Central exec VP-general manager Bill Hilary told Daily Variety. “Why wait around to order?”

“Crank Yankers” has drawn an average 1.2 million viewers during its first four Sunday night airings, with adults 18-49 repping 70% of its aud. Segs have been preeming at 10:30 on Sundays after repeats of “The Man Show.” Its repeats, however, which follow ratings stalwart “South Park” on Wednesdays, have posted even higher numbers than the Sunday preems, albeit lower than “South Park’s” perfs.

Jackhole Industries’ Daniel Kellison, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, who created Comedy Central’s “The Man Show,” exec produce the show.

The new episodes will debut “as soon as we can get them,” Hilary said, likely early next year.

Meanwhile, Comedy Central will make a decision about the future of “The Man Show” at the end of August at the earliest. Series’ fourth season gets under way at the beginning of next month.

That will be the last season of the skein with co-star Kimmel, who has signed to star in his own latenight show for ABC. Hilary said Comedy Central has until mid-December to decide.

“We want to see how the series does (next month), we want to talk to (co-star) Adam Carolla and we want to talk to the show’s producers, Stone Stanley,” Hilary said. “We don’t want to run into a decision we’ll regret.”

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