Black At Root Of Comedy Central's 'Evil'

Continuing to shape its lineup for 2008, Comedy Central has picked up original series The Root of All Evil. The show features Lewis Black putting  pop culture icons or topics on trial. With Black presiding, a rotating group of comedians will take the stage to make their case about who or what is more evil. Among the examples cited by the network: Vice President Dick Cheney against celebutante Paris Hilton or YouTube vs. porn.

The network has ordered eight episodes, the first of which is slated to premiere next March.

“Who better to serve as the great decider for all that is evil than Lewis Black? We are thrilled to be working with him on a new series that embraces his insight and personality,” said Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central executive vice president, original programming and development, in a statement. “He has been a mainstay on Comedy Central for years with his hosting gigs, numerous stand-up specials and his trademark 'Back in Black' segments on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

The Evil news follows the addition of Important Things with Demetri Martin, a stream-of-consciousness sketch and variety show from the comedian. The show is scheduled to bow in the second half of 2008, according to network officials.

On Monday, Comedy Central announced fourth- and second-season renewals for Mind of Mencia andLil’ Bush, both of which are expected to return with fresh episodes next spring.

In addition, the network will roll out the final 10 episodes of the second season of The Sarah Silverman Program, according to a network spokeswoman. Silverman’s show has yet to be renewed for a third campaign, which the comedienne said she was writing for in an interview with USA Today. The spokeswoman said Silverman was working on the upcoming installments for the series sophomore season, which will continue in 2008.