E! Molding New Comedy Profile

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E! is looking to boost its comedy profile with the launch of celebrity claymation series Starveillance, which will debut in January 2007.

The show, from Celebrity Deathmatch mastermind Eric Fogel, will offer up celebrities who have more than just feet of clay, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, and Ashlee Simpson.

Adding more laughs to the lineup is a top priority at E! Networks President/CEO Ted Harbert said in announcing the show to critics at the Television Critics Association Tour in L.A..

He also pointed out that, although the network lost its video version of Howard Stern's radio show, it's still up 11% in prime time household ratings over last year. "Frankly, six months ago, I thought I'd be out here trying to spin a negative story," he said.

The ratings growth is thanks in part to strong ratings from The Simple Life's fourth season, which premiered on the network in June. E! has ordered a fifth season of the show.

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