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Comedy Central takes shine to ‘Sunny’

FX series to join network's lineup next summer

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” cometh to Comedy Central.

The cabler has secured the basic cable off-net rights to “Sunny,” which will join Comedy Central’s lineup next summer.

FX will continue to air original episodes of “Sunny,” which is in its fifth season. FX has already ordered sixth and seventh seasons of the show, keeping it on the air through 2011 — and eventually adding up to 84 episodes.

Deal reps the first time a basic cable network has picked up an off-net comedy series from another basic cable network. The Los Angeles Times reported the pricetag at $400,000 per episode plus commercial time — which could bring the deal upward of $700,000 per seg.

Comedy Central pickup was announced Tuesday by Twentieth TV exec VP-general sales manager for basic cable Steve MacDonald as well as FX Networks prexy-g.m. John Landgraf and Comedy Central programming senior VP David Vernath.

Show, which launched in 2005, started off as a cult hit and critical success, but has since morphed into a strong ratings performer for FX. Show is up this season by 55% among adults 18-49.

Show, which stars Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, is known for mining irreverent laughs out of hot-button topics such as abortion, underage drinking and molestation.

McElhenney created the show and exec produces with Day and Howerton; Michael Rotenberg and Nick Frenkel also exec produce. FX’s inhouse FX Prods. unit is the studio.

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