Channel 4 to revive 'comedy night'

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The Independent Online

The channel is hoping that new comedies such as The IT Crowd and My Name Is Earl will strengthen its Friday night viewing figures after the slump caused by the ending of the hit US comedy series, Friends.

The IT Crowd, which is written by Graham Linehan, the creator of Father Ted, centres on a group of computer geeks and their working lives in the murky basement of a glamorous company. A Channel 4 spokeswoman described it as a "surreal look at the underclass of a company".

My Name Is Earl has become an overnight hit with American audiences. Kevin Lygo, the director of television at Channel 4, said: "For as long as one can remember, Friday nights feature US sitcoms as well as our own. I hope it is going to anchor our Friday nights. We all want to see a nice shiny sitcom on Channel 4 and now we have got it."

The series stars Jason Lee as a criminal who is prompted to change his life after winning the Lottery.