Comedy Central books '30 Rock'

Episodes will begin airing in 2011

Comedy Central has acquired the off-network syndication rights to NBC's "30 Rock."

It will share the cable window of the Emmy-winning comedy series with WGN America for a combined license fee said to be in the range of $800,000 an episode, surpassing cable sales of other recent comedy offerings such as "The Office," "My Name Is Earl" and "Entourage."

The two cable networks will begin to run "30 Rock" in 2011.

"Pound-for-pound, '30 Rock' is one of the funniest shows on television and a perfect DNA match for our viewers," said Comedy Central's top acquisition executive David Bernath, who, influenced by "30 Rock's" Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), listed his title as senior vp program strategy and microwave programming for the comedy-centered cable channel.

The off-network sale of "30 Rock" by Universal Domestic TV follows the 2007 sale of NBC's other Emmy-winning Thursday comedy, "The Office," which was sold to TBS for about $750,000 per episode as well as in broadcast syndication. A broadcast syndication deal for "30 Rock" is also pending.

Meanwhile, WGN, which has limited distribution, has been stocking up on comedies, adding "30 Rock" to its other recent acquisitions, "Entourage," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Scrubs."
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