A full 117 episodes into their weekly run on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network — beamed from New York City’s public-access cable TV to viewers everywhere onlineThe Chris Gethard Show jokingly allowed all of its regular panelists and irregular guest characters and audience members to make big announcements on last night’s show. Of course, they saved the seriously big announcement for last, with Gethard telling us what already had leaked online at the top of the hour: Comedy Central has ordered a pilot TV episode of TCGS.

The Chris Gethard Show, TV pilot edition, will be executive produced by Gethard with Zach Galifianakis, Funny or Die and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Mike Farah, Owen Burke and Brian Stern as the other EPs. It’ll tape in January during a monthlong hiatus of the cable-access/online show.

Funny or Die, through Comedy Central, had given Gethard a big break a few years ago as the lead in its 2010 sitcom, Big Lake.

At that point, “The Chris Gethard Show” was a monthly talk show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. By the start of 2011, Gethard had convinced Sean Combs (then going by “Diddy”) to appear on his talk show, and five months later, the show relaunched as a weekly cable-access TV variety show, broadcast from MNN studios in Harlem.

And 117 episodes later, and 50 minutes into that episode, Gethard made “a big announcement.”

“This whole episode has been an excuse — we invited pretty much, we reached out to so many people who have done the show. Tons and tons of friends who have helped build this thing over the past four years. The first time we did The Chris Gethard Show at UCB was November 2009, that’s exactly four years ago. I think myself, Shannon, Will and Johnny are the four people here tonight who were at that first show. Those guys can tell you this show, quickly, we thought it was going to be a talk show. Quickly started changing, and we were catching up to it from the start, and it was always evolving. We just always want this thing to evolve. Or that we know that it needs to go away. And that’s just true. When we switched to public access, because things had become kind of stagnant for us at UCB after the Diddy era. So it evolved. We found this new thing for it. And it’s been really exciting. We’ve been here for two-and-a-half years. And that is sticking in my head that it needs to evolve and change…

“I’ve talked about this publicly on the show, that it’s going to go away at some point, if it doesn’t continue to evolve. And a professional opportunity has come up, and that means that things do have to change. I’ve always said that I might need to go to L.A. at some point I might get tied up in some job where I don’t have the time to put into the show anymore, and that’s just been a reality that we’ve all known about. But. Fortunately, that it is not the case with this announcement. Because the professional opportunity that’s come up is not to replace TCGS. At long last, it’s going to be TCGS. Because in January, we are going to be filming a pilot for Comedy Central.”

He added, after the cheers and applause subsided, his thanks to the staffers, supporters, callers and audience members who have embraced TCGS over the years.

“If all we ever make is a pilot, and that’s it, we took it further than anybody thought we would and I also think for those of you who’ve been watching on public access for two-and-a-half years, the idea that we actually get to make this pilot is kind of the funniest punchline to the entire show. So thank you for being here for the two-and-a-half-yearlong setup of the joke that is us actually going to Comedy Central.”

He said the final TCGS on public access in 2013 will air on Dec. 11. They’ll film the pilot in mid-January 2014. “And then we’ll come back and see what happens!”

Gethard elaborated on his thoughts about TCGS this morning via Tumblr.

Catch up with highlights and past episodes of TCGS via Chris Gethard’s YouTube channel or the TCGS Blip page. Next week is the annual TCGS Sandwich Night.

Want to see the 2012 TCGS Sandwich Night, episode #69? Here you go:

Here’s an early highlight reel of TCGS of what it looked like two years ago, circa November 2011: