Chris Hardwick's '@midnight' Renewed at Comedy Central

Chris Hardwick - PR Portrait - 2010

Comedy Central is sticking with Chris Hardwick's late-night show.

The cable network has ordered 40 more weeks' worth of @midnight, it was announced Friday. The show, which ended its trial run Thursday night, will return in early January when The Daily Show and The Colbert Report return from their year-end hiatus. The news comes less than 24 hours after HBO revealed that it had snatched up The Daily Show correspondent and summertime fill-in, John Oliver, for a topical show on its network.

"We're amazed at how quickly @midnight has resonated with our fans. If the Internet catches on and social media becomes a part of pop culture, we think we'll really have something here," the network's original programming president Kent Alterman quipped in a statement.

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The four-week run designed to expand Comedy Central's late-night foothold proved successful with @midnight benefiting from a strong lead-in from from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Through its first three weeks, the trio of Comedy Central offerings registered as the three most-watched series among men 18-34 as well as adults 18-24 when compared to all late-night shows. Among the broader all-important 18-49 demo, the series lured 453,000 viewers, putting it above Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, E!'s Chelsea Lately and TBS' new entry, Pete Holmes.

Added Hardwick of the news: "I don't have adequate words to express how excited I am that we are going to be a fixture of late night in 2014. Huge thanks to the amazing teams at Funny Or Die, Serious Business, and Tom Lennon and Ben Garant. They've made this process one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of my life. Finally, to the fantastic folks at Comedy Central, I say, POINTS!!!"

Meanwhile, AMC has yet to formally renew its Hardwick-hosted Walking Dead postshow Talking Dead.

Twitter: @LaceyVRose