Comedy Central (UK and Ireland)

Comedy Central (UK and Ireland)
Comedy Central
Comedy Central UK.svg
Launched 1 November 1995
Owned by Paramount UK Partnership
(Paramount British Pictures/British Sky Broadcasting)
Picture format 4:3, 16:9 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.4%
0.1% (+1)
(June 2011, BARB)
Formerly called The Paramount Channel
Paramount Comedy Channel
Paramount Comedy
Paramount Comedy 1
Sister channel(s) MTV
MTV Base
MTV Classic
MTV Dance
MTV Hits
MTV Rocks
MTV Shows
Comedy Central Extra
Nick Jr.
Nick Jr. 2
Timeshift service Comedy Central +1
Sky Channel 112
Channel 127 (+1)
Channel 112 (HD customers)
Sky Ireland Channel 112
Channel 127 (+1)
Channel 222 (HD)
Virgin Media Channel 132
Channel 133 (HD)
Channel 134 (+1)
UPC Ireland Channel 127
Channel 128 (+1)
Smallworld Cable Channel 115
TalkTalk TV Channel 25
Freewire Channel 148
Internet television
Virgin Media Player Watch on demand (UK only)

Comedy Central in the United Kingdom and Ireland is a localised version of Comedy Central which first began in the United States in the 1990s. The television channel is available through the Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV in the United Kingdom, Sky Ireland, UPC Ireland and Magnet Networks in the Republic of Ireland. The channel's programming concentrates solely on comedy.

The channel was rebranded from Paramount Comedy 1 to Comedy Central at 9:00 pm on 6 April 2009.



The channel premiered as The Paramount Channel on 1 November 1995, with a broadcast of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The original schedule was a mixture of comedy and drama, as well as films from the Paramount Pictures film library, including such eclectic offerings as Beauty and the Beast, several anime productions acquired from Manga Entertainment, and authentic Paramount archive programming like The Magician. The drama shows were later dropped and the schedule became 100% comedy, hence the change of name to the Paramount Comedy Channel on 1 September 1997. The 'Channel' part of the name was dropped on 1 July 2002.

It originally aired every evening after Nickelodeon UK's closing at 7:00 pm until around 4:00 am, with a testcard featuring a chicken crossing the road and holding up traffic airing during downtime until Nickelodeon started up at 6:00 am.

The introduction of Sky brought greater space for channels on the network and allowed it to become a channel independent of Nickelodeon. The channel continued broadcasting from 7:00 pm. until 4 February 2001 when it launched a daytime lineup and moved its startup time to 9:00 am.[1] When teleshopping became legal in the UK, it changed to close at a fixed time of 6:00 am with teleshopping broadcasting in the 6:00 am - 9:00 am slot. In November 2011, broadcasting hours were modified again, this time to start at 8:00 am and finish at 5:00 am.

UPC Ireland still provides Comedy Central after Nickelodeon at 7:00 pm. on analogue cable, however both are available in full on their digital service.

Logo used until April 2009.

2009 rebrand

On 17 February 2009, it was announced that Paramount Comedy 1 would be rebranded as Comedy Central and Paramount Comedy 2 as Comedy Central Extra on 6 April 2009 at 9:00 pm.[2] The name change coincided with the launch of a new programming lineup which included new episodes of Two and a Half Men, Scrubs, The Office, The Sarah Silverman Program and South Park, where they air new episodes about a week after they U.S. airing. Since season 13, Comedy Central UK has aired new episodes of South Park two days after they air in the U.S..

Other channels

After no longer having to timeshare with Nickelodeon, the station increased its broadcasting hours, and was joined by Paramount Comedy 2 (later rebranded as Comedy Central Extra) on 1 September 2003.

A one hour timeshift, Paramount Comedy 1 +1 (now Comedy Central +1) was launched on Sky channel 127, on 30 August 2005 and Virgin Media channel 133.

A high-definition version, Comedy Central HD, launched on 9 August 2010 on Sky channel 222.[3] On 1 September 2010 the channel also became available on Virgin Media channel 133.[4] Comedy Central HD broadcasts high-definition programming including Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock and South Park, in addition to new UK commissions. Virgin Media will also make some popular Comedy Central HD programmes available on demand.

A second timeshift, Paramount Comedy 2 +1 (now Comedy Central Extra +1) was launched on Sky channel 159, on 5 November 2007.

Comedy Central in Ireland

Comedy Central has an alternative Irish feed of the same channel available via satellite service Sky Ireland and digital services UPC Ireland, Magnet Networks among other digital television providers.[which?] The feed launched in May 2006 and is identical to the UK channel, differing only in sponsorship and commercial breaks. The domain name also redirects to An additional Irish commercial feed of the timeshift service, Comedy Central +1, was also launched shortly after the parent channel's rebranding on 6 April 2009.


Comedy Central is well known for bringing popular American shows to the UK, such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, South Park Friends, Scrubs, King of Queens, Two and a Half Men and Sex And The City Everybody Hates Chris. It also shows South Park and in the past aired others such as Trailer Park Boys, Happy Tree Friends, Drawn Together, Burberry and Seinfeld.

The channel prides itself on its stand up content with 40% of all programming on Comedy Central being stand up with talent such as Lee Evans, Jack Dee and Al Murray. This wide array of programming (which is also reflected in live events supported by the channel: Edinburgh and Beyond, Comedy on Tap and Paramount Comedy Festival, Brighton)[5] attracted Magners as a sponsor of all stand up content on Comedy Central and their live events.

The channel also prides itself on supporting new comedy talent. The channel was instrumental in the early careers of comedic talent such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Dom Joly, Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Most recently, the channel has been involved in commission a strand called Shortcuts, an on-air and online venture to promote new comedic talent.

In the past, it has frequently had a large back catalogue of Channel 4 comedies in its schedule, such as Father Ted, Spaced, Drop the Dead Donkey and Paul Merton: The Series, and some BBC classics such as The Young Ones, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Not the Nine O'Clock News. Some of these programmes continue to be aired today, and recent acquisitions include Not Going Out and The Kenny Everett Television Show.

Comedy Central has recently shown new episodes of Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men, Scrubs, The Sarah Silverman Program, 30 Rock, The Office: An American Workplace, Everybody Hates Chris and South Park. Comedy Central recently acquired the rights to Friends, which previously aired on Channel 4 and E4. The series began airing on 1 October 2011.[6] Later that month, a new narrative comedy series Threesome began.[7] It is the first original scripted comedy commissioned by Comedy Central (UK) and is produced by Big Talk Productions.


The channel frequently airs weekend marathons which consist of one or two shows being on-air for the majority of the day. They often contain loose themes and are on occasion sponsored, such as the "He Ain't Funny, He's My Brother" marathon which ran on the night of 24 November 2007. This night consisted of episodes from shows with a strong brother relationship theme and was sponsored by the film The Darjeeling Limited to promote its nationwide release.


Comedy Central also broadcasts films, including South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Dumb and Dumber, Jerry Maguire The Mask, White Chicks, Scary Movie 3, Teen Wolf, 13 Going On 30, Bad Boys 1 and 2, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me and Happy Feet.

The channel has begun showing movies on a regular basis, typically from 10pm onwards.

Picture format

Comedy Central and Comedy Central Extra continue to air in 4:3 in standard-definition, although many shows have converted to widescreen format, they still remain in a full-frame screen. The shows on Comedy Central HD air in 16:9, though those in 4:3 are converted to fit the frame of widescreen. The newly acquired Friends, which was filmed in 4:3 for its complete run, has now been remastered to 16:9 widescreen format.


See also


External links

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