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TBS Greenlights Bill Engvall, Comedy Orders More Silverman

TBS has greenlighted The Bill Engvall Show, a new scripted comedy featuring the Blue Collar Comedy Tour star. Eight episodes of the show, shot in front of an audience, are slated to premiere in summer 2007.

The show, which will co-star Nancy Travis (Becker), is part of an overall strategy for the "very funny" network to evolve into more scripted original comedies. This summer, TBS launched two new original scripted comedies, My Bys and 10 Items or Less, both to relative success.

Engvall is planned as a family comedy set in a Denver suburb. Engvall plays a family counselor whose own family need work. The show was written and created by Engvall and Michael Leeson (The War of the Roses).

TBS averaged 1.76 million total viewers in prime during January, up 3% from last year.

In other cable comedy news, Comedy Central has given the go-ahead to more episodes of its new scripted comedy The Sarah Silverman Program. The show premiered Feb. 1 as Comedy's most successful primetime launch since 2004. The show has averaged 1.7 million total viewers and 1.3 million viewers 18-49 since then. The network plans to premiere the first seven of 14 new episodes ordered in the fall.