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Comedy Central Picks Up ‘Sunny’

First time a basic cable network has syndicated another basic cable show.

Comedy Central has picked up basic-cable off-net rights to Twentieth Television’s "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which airs in first-run on basic cable network FX.

Under the multiyear deal, the hit comedy will start its run on Comedy Central next summer.

The deal was announced Tuesday by Steve MacDonald, executive VP/general sales manager for basic cable at Twentieth Television; John Landgraf, president-general manager, FX Networks; and David Bernath, senior VP of programming at Comedy Central.

The show concludes its fifth season on FX on Nov. 5. FX has ordered seasons six and seven, to air in 2010 and 2011, respectively. FX Productions will have produced 84 episodes by the end of season seven.

MacDonald said, "Crossing a series from one hugely successful cable brand to another speaks volumes to the show’s loyal viewers and skyrocketing ratings."

Landgraf added, "’Sunny’s’ trajectory from home-brewed pilot to pop culture phenomenon has been one of the most gratifying successes in FX’s history. This is also a watershed moment in television – the first time a comedy has syndicated from a basic cable network to another basic cable network."

The half-hour series stars Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito as self-centered owners of Paddy’s Irish Pub in Philadelphia who will do just about anything, no matter how reprehensible, in an attempt to better their own situation.

"It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was created by McElhenney and is executive produced by McElhenney, Day and Howerton. Michael Rotenberg and Nick Frenkel are also executive producers. The series is produced by FX Productions and distributed by Twentieth Television.