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It took a little longer than expected, but beleaguered NBC Entertainment president/Dwight Schrute-comic-foil Kevin Reilly, who for years was expected to be but one axe-swing away from being ejected from his Burbank offices via medieval catapult, has renewed his contract:

NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly has inked a new multiyear deal with the Peacock.

Pact had been anticipated since January, when NBC U supremo Jeff Zucker publicly stated his desire to have Reilly stay on. Contract negotiations began in earnest a few weeks later, but some major deal points prevented a pact from wrapping up until this week.

Reilly's re-upping reps a victory for the former FX exec, who's been plagued by rumors about his long-term future at the network almost from the moment he ascended to his current post in May 2004.

Once Zucker ascended to NBC Universal supremacy, it was only a matter of time before the finer points of his first choice's contract (not, it turns out, Bravo's Jeff Gaspin, as was once rumored) were ironed out. After all, the two had weathered the Friends finale and subsequent, tragic stillbirth of its developmentally disabled sibling, Joey. The NBC seascape has changed much since those troubling times, however, and Reilly can now take great comfort in knowing his ship, peopled by an able crew of time-traveling little Japanese men and bald Canadians, is shifting back on course, if temporarily slowed by a trailing, overloaded dinghy carrying the cast and crew of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.