Fox likes ‘Spike’ in latenight

'Mad TV' future remains cloudy

Fox has ordered a second season of its Saturday latenight gabber “Talkshow With Spike Feresten,” while the future for “Mad TV” remains cloudy.

“Talkshow” will be back in its Saturday-at-midnight slot in the fall. The half-hour yakker’s renewal wasn’t a sure thing, as the show hasn’t made much of a dent in the ratings.

But the talkshow has shown promise with young men, posting better numbers Saturday than weeknight strips such as ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’ “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” and NBC’s “Last Call With Carson Daly” in key demos.

“Spike has shown himself to be a unique voice in the latenight comedy field, and his show presents a refreshing alternative to the format,” said Fox latenight senior VP Todd Yasui.

Best known as an Emmy-nommed scribe for shows such as “Seinfeld” and “Late Show With David Letterman,” Feresten combines celeb interviews with comedy sketches both in the studio and in the field. Feresten and Mike Gibbons exec produce “Talkshow,” which comes from Fox TV Studios.

Fox TV Studios exec veep Holly Jacobs praised Feresten as a “wonderful, rare combination of an original voice, comedic pedigree and likeability.”

As for the long-running “Mad TV” franchise — currently in its 12th season — Fox remains in negotiations with producers QDE and Warner Bros. TV to bring the show back next year. Fox declined comment on the status of the talks.

The renewal of “Talkshow” makes it more unclear if “Mad TV” will be back. Buzz (including some from inside the show itself) centered earlier this year on whether the sketch comedy would bid adieu. That seemed unlikely, as Fox didn’t have another show in the wings to pick up the “Mad TV” slot.

But should both sides fail to come to terms, it’s possible “Talkshow” will be asked to take over the “Mad TV” spot.

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