[01/22/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Renews Comedy Karma with "My Name Is Earl" and Works in "The Office" for Full-Season Orders of 22 Episodes Each for 2006-07

[via press release from NBC]


Hit Freshman Comedy "Earl" Stars Jason Lee While Increasingly Popular "The Office" Stars Recent Golden Globe Winner Steve Carell

BURBANK, Calif. -- January 22, 2006 -- NBC has rewarded "My Name Is Earl" (Thursdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET) and supplied "The Office" (Thursdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET) with full-season orders of 22 episodes each through the 2006-07 season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"The strength of the ratings and performance and the quality of these two shows make this a very easy decision," said Reilly. "We are confident that these comedies will only continue to increase in popularity."

"My Name Is Earl" is the season's #1 comedy and #1 new series in adults 18-49. Through the first 15 weeks of the season, "Earl" was also television's #1 Tuesday series in 18-49. Since moving to Thursday nights on January 5, "Earl" has increased NBC's 18-49 rating in the time period by 31 percent (with a 5.5 rating vs. a 4.2). Through January 15, "My Name Is Earl" is averaging a 5.3 rating, 13 share in adults 18-49 and 12.0 million overall.

Since shifting to the Thursday lineup on January 5, "The Office" has delivered its three highest regular-slot ratings ever in adults 18-49 and its three best retentions ever of its 18-49 lead-in from "My Name Is Earl." "The Office" is also one of primetime's most upscale comedies, ranking #2 in terms of the concentration of homes with incomes of $100,000 or more in its adult 18-49 audience. Through January 15, "The Office" is averaging a 3.9 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers overall.

In "Earl," the title character (Jason Lee, "Almost Famous") has taken one too many wrong turns on the highway of life. However, a twist of fate turns his life into a tailspin of life-renewing events. Earl won a small lottery, and, after an epiphany, he is determined to transform his good fortune into a life-changing event as he sets out to right all the wrongs from his past.

In its first season, "My Name Is Earl" has been nominated for two Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, one Directors Guild of America Award and three Writers Guild of America Awards. It has also won the coveted People's Choice Favorite New Television Comedy Award.

Joining Earl along his quest to cleanse his karma are a few dim-witted friends: hapless brother Randy (Ethan Suplee, "Cold Mountain") and the very sexy Catalina (Nadine Velazquez, "The Bold and the Beautiful"). Even Darnell (Eddie Steeples, "Torque"), a worker at the Crab Shack where Earl drinks beer, offers his support. But it's Earl's ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly, "Not Another Teen Movie") who won't lift a finger to help unless there's something in it for her.

Created and written by Greg Garcia ("Yes, Dear), "My Name Is Earl" is executive produced by Garcia and Marc Buckland ("Medical Investigation," "Ed"). The series is produced by Amigos de Garcia and Twentieth Century Fox Television.

From Reveille and NBC Universal Television Studio, "The Office" is a unique comedy series offering a smart, tongue-in-cheek documentary-style look at the humorous, and sometimes poignant, banality of the 9-to-5 white-collar work world. After airing its initial 16 episodes over two seasons, the series received three Writers Guild of America Award nominations, including Outstanding Achievement in Writing for a New Series and Outstanding Achievement in Writing for a Comedy Series.

"The Office" takes a painfully funny look at the interactions of the desk jockeys at Dunder Mifflin paper-supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Recent Golden Globe winner Steve Carell ("The 40-Year Old Virgin") stars as unctuous regional manager Michael Scott who hosts the documentary crew on a tour of the workplace. Jenna Fischer ("Miss Match"), John Krasinski ("Jarhead," "Kinsey"), Rainn Wilson ("Six Feet Under"), and B.J. Novak ("Punk'd") star as the employees who tolerate Michael's inappropriate behavior only because he signs their paychecks.

With unshaken enthusiasm, Michael believes he is the office funnyman and a fountain of business wisdom. Unaware of how he is perceived by his employees, Michael comes off alternately absurd and pathetic, but always hilarious.

Executive producer Greg Daniels developed "The Office" for American television. The series' other executive producers are Ben Silverman, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Howard Klein.

  [january 2006]  

· ED (NBC)

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