‘SNL’s’ Morgan bags gig

Comedy Central taps NBC player

“Saturday Night Live’s” Tracy Morgan will star in his own one-hour spec for Comedy Central and host a new standup series for the laffer net.

Spec, slated to premiere Aug. 26 at 10 p.m., marks the third one-hour comedy special from the web, after last summer’s “Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff” and last month’s “Jim Breuer: Hard Core.”

Starting the Monday after the spec, six half-hour episodes of the new series “Comic Groove” will air at 10 p.m. on the network.

Both the spec and the series will be taped in Gotham at the Supper Club on a club-style setwith lounge seating and music from a DJ, Comedy Central exec VP-general manager Bill Hilary told Daily Variety. Gotham DJ Beverly Bond will provide the music.

Hilary described the new series — to feature three or four ethnically diverse, up-and-coming comedians per episode — as “urban comedy for the new generation.”

“This reflects our desire to create a new way to do standup that is more intimate,” Hilary said.

This project reps the net’s second endeavor aimed at meeting that goal, following February’s “The Heroes of Black Comedy.” Two other such initiatives are in development, though Hilary declined to specify what they are.

Morgan, who is managed by 3 Arts and repped by ICM, began working with Comedy Centralwhen he took on the recurring role of Spoonie Luv in the net’s upcoming series “Crank Yankers,” which debuts June 2.

Comedy Central’s Lauren Gray and Michelle Armour, from Marobru Prods., will exec produce both “Comic Groove” and the Morgan special. David Miner and Dave Becky of 3 Arts will serve as producers on the spec.