Norm Macdonald Scores Sports Show on Comedy Central

Comedy Central greenlights eight episodes for ex-“SNL” star

Last Updated: February 9, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

Norm Macdonald is returning to television — on Comedy Central.

The network has greenlit “Sports Show With Norm Macdonald,” ordering up eight episodes of the half-hour scripted series, Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s head of original programming said on Wednesday.

"Norm has the uncanny ability to say what I didn't even realize I was thinking," Alterman said.

The show will feature Macdonald's “unique and comedic take on the most topical and controversial stories from the sports world” and tape in front of a live studio audience — a setup that sounds not unlike Macdonald’s popular turn as the “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live.”

The 47-year-old comedian last appeared on network television in a 2010 cameo on ABC's "The Middle."

Production on the Comedy Central show is slated to begin next month, and the series will debut in April.

But Macdonald will appear on Comedy Central before that. His latest stand-up comedy special — “Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up” — premieres on March 12.

How much this concept differs from "The Onion Sports Dome" (Comedy Central's half-hour spoof of ESPN's "SportsCenter," which debuted last month) remains to be seen, though I'm told Macdonald's show will be "more topical" — likely taping the day before it airs, a much shorter turnaround than "Dome" — and may feature more "real" sports stars.