Offbeat comedy gets extended second season

IFC has renewed comedy “Portlandia” for a second season, the cabler’s first in-season pickup of an original series.

Co-created by series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and director Jonathan Krisel, who exec produce with Armisen’s “Saturday Night Live” boss Lorne Michaels, “Portlandia” is the middle of a six-episode freshman run that will wrap Feb. 25.

For season two, “Portlandia” gets a 10-episode order, with production expected to begin this summer for a January bow.

“This is the first time ever that we’ve picked up a show while it’s still running,” IFC senior VP of original programming Debbie DeMontreux said, “which is also a testament to how we love and value this show, and we’ve been producing originals for several years now.”

Airing at 10:30 p.m. Fridays, “Portlandia” is averaging 235,000 viewers among adults 18-49, nearly quadruple IFC’s primetime average in a demo it has aggressively begun courting, and has built upon its lead-in, fellow original series “Onion News Network.”

“We kind of entered 2011 as our coming-out party in terms of really investing in alternative comedies and original programming,” DeMontreux said.

IFC has not announced a decision on “ONN,” which like “Portlandia” launched Jan. 21 but with a 10-episode freshman season. “ONN” is averaging 189,000 viewers in 18-49. David Cross starrer “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” which had its freshman season in the fall, also has not received word of its fate.

The season finale for “Portlandia” is Feb. 25, after which it will rerun as “ONN” completes its longer first season. In April, the fifth season of “Whitest Kids U’ Know”will bow Fridays on IFC.

Armisen and Brownstein write and perform original music for “Portlandia,” which grew from their Web series “ThunderAnt.”

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