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It's a 'Mad' world on Fox

Network will air 200th episode of show, which operates in the shadows of its famous Saturday night rival on NBC.

November 04, 2003|Greg Braxton | Times Staff Writer

"MADtv," that other Saturday late-night sketch comedy show, which has earned acclaim and a loyal viewership but has operated in the shadow of "Saturday Night Live," will celebrate a milestone this week when Fox airs its 200th episode.

"How many shows get to make it to 200 episodes at the top of their game?" asked David Salzman, one of the executive producers of the 8-year-old series, which focuses on parodies of popular culture. "It shows no sign of aging."

Marcy Ross, senior vice president of programming for Fox, said "MADtv" stands alongside "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill" as one of the network's most reliable comedies. "We always know it's going to be cutting edge, and it's a great asset for us," she said.

Salzman acknowledged that NBC's "Saturday Night Live" still gets the lion's share of attention from the media.

"We're like the stealth sketch show on TV," he said. " 'Saturday Night Live' is 20 years older than we are, but we're a success in our own way. We do wall-to-wall pop culture parody, and we put the focus on our cast instead of guest stars or bands."

Several former cast members of the series, including Artie Lange, Alex Borstein, Orlando Jones, Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan, will return for the celebration, which also will feature Tommy Davidson from "In Living Color." "MADtv" airs at 11 p.m. Saturdays.

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