Sitcom drew three million viewers per episode
TBS has renewed “The Bill Engvall Show,” the family-friendly sitcom that drew as many as 3 million viewers this summer.Time Warner cabler has ordered 10 episodes for the second season, likely for next summer, when the show could again air behind the net’s reruns of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” While critics have given “Engvall” mixed reviews, show was touted by TBS as a throwback series that offered counterprogramming to edgier comedies elsewhere on cable and even on the broadcast nets. TBS programming topper Michael Wright has said that his goal with “Engvall” is to air a show parents can watch with their children. Engvall, the former star of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, toplines in the series as the suburban father of three wise-cracking and gently quirky children. Comedian created the show, produced inhouse by the net, with “The Cosby Show” vet Michael Leeson. Move means TBS has filled one of what Turner prexy Steve Koonin has said could be eight sitcom slots on TBS across primetime and latenight. Net currently has “My Boys” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” on the air, and it is set to debut Frank Caliendo’s latenight sketch show in the fall. TBS also announced that it will air the next installment in the Blue Collar Comedy franchise, the special “Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation,” and said Engvall will host. Spec, which will feature a slew of new comedians on the tour, will be taped in November at the HBO-hosted comedy festival in Las Vegas, to which TBS owns broadcast rights. TBS has never aired a Blue Collar special before. “Blue Collar” pics have run on Comedy Central, while a series based on the comedians’ material previously aired on the WB.
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