"Colbert Report" to resume production on Monday

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Colbert Report," the popular satirical news show that went on hiatus without explanation last week, will resume production on Monday, Comedy Central said.

The network declined to comment on Sunday on social media reports that political satirist Stephen Colbert switched the show to reruns at the end of last week to care for his ailing 91-year-old mother, Lorna.

"We are not commenting on any speculation about the nature of the cancellations last week," Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albini said in an email to Reuters.

He said Colbert would be filming original episodes this week, starting with a show on Monday that features best-selling author Ann Patchett.

Colbert turned to social media to thank fans for an outpouring of support after the abrupt switch to reruns ignited online speculation.

"My family and I would like to thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers. We are grateful and touched by your concern," Colbert posted on Twitter on Friday.

The break in the show came during a crucial stretch for Colbert's show, with the Republican presidential primary season in full swing. Last month, he took his political satire to South Carolina before its primary, staging a mock campaign rally and urging fans to vote for former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

The comedian also has a super PAC, or political action committee - "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" - that had raised more than $1 million as of late January.

Comedy Central is owned by Viacom Inc.

(Reporting By Barbara Goldberg, Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Cooney)

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