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Comedy, WGN Snare Scrubs Deals

In a rare off-network sitcom acquisition, Comedy Central announced Monday that it has acquired syndication rights to NBC comedy series Scrubs.

Comedy will air 93 episodes of the four-year skein, about the exploits of a young medical resident, beginning in 2006, network executives said.

WGN Superstation will also air the episodes as part of its national cable offering.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed at press time.

"We're thrilled to have Scrubs join the network," Comedy senior vice president of programming David Bernath said in a prepared statement. "It is a very funny show with a great cast. Not many off-network sitcoms fit our brand, and this one fits perfectly."

The deal is the first off-network sitcom acquisition for the network since it purchased rights to Jay Mohr vehicle Action in 2003. The network also acquired rights to sports-news comedy series Sports Night in 2000.

Despite the acquisition of Scrubs, a network spokesman said Comedy will continue to focus its efforts on developing original programming.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.