HBO comedies parked on Sunday

'Entourage,' 'Conchords' returning in '08

HBO has renewed its Sunday comedies, bringing the rookie "Flight of the Conchords" back for a second season and handing out a fifth-season pickup to the veteran "Entourage."

Both shows are slated to return with original episodes in 2008.

While the renewal of "Entourage" -- one of HBO's most popular series -- was widely expected, things weren't that certain for "Conchords," a quirky half-hour about two New Zealand musicians struggling to make it in New York.

The show starring the music-comedy duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie quickly developed a cult following but came up short of the broader appeal of "Entourage."

" 'Entourage' is a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, and 'Flight of the Conchords' has quickly become a show to watch," HBO Entertainment president Carolyn Strauss said. "I'm delighted that we'll be bringing new seasons of these distinctive series to our subscribers."

The pickups follow HBO's recent decision to cancel David Milch's new drama "John From Cincinnati" after one season and renew "Big Love" for a third cycle.

Next for the premium cable channel is the return of critics' favorite "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Wire," the debuts of "In Treatment" and "12 Miles of Bad Road" and the controversial "Tell Me You Love Me."

"Entourage" was created by Doug Ellin, who is executive producing the show with Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Rob Weiss. The Hollywood-centered comedy is nominated for four Emmys -- best comedy series, best supporting actor noms for last year's winner, Jeremy Piven, and Kevin Dillon and best guest actor Martin Landau.

"Conchords" is exec produced by Stu Smiley, James Bobin and Troy Miller.