Updated: Concurrent to the cable sale of Warner Bros.' 2 Broke Girlsannounced Wednesday morning, CBS Television Stations and Weigel have acquired that show and Mike & Molly. Mike & Molly will premiere in fall 2014, and 2 Broke Girls will premiere in 2015.
CBS picked up both shows on WLNY New York, KCAL Los Angeles, WPSG Philadelphia, KTXA Dallas, KBCW San Francisco, WSBK Boston and WUPA Atlanta, WKBD Detroit, KSTW Seattle, WTOG Tampa, WBFS Miami, KMAX Sacramento and WPCW Pittsburgh. Weigel acquired the shows for WCIU Chicago and WDJT/WMLW Milwaukee. The sales clear the show in 35% of the country and in the top three markets.
"Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls will be great additions to our programming schedules in 13 markets, especially in New York, where these comedies represent our first major acquisition from the syndication marketplace since we purchased WLNY-TV earlier this year," said Peter Dunn, president of the CBS Television Stations, in a statement.
The sales mark a shift in the broadcast distribution of off-net sitcoms. In recent years, whether Fox or Tribune bought a show would make or break its sale. Neither Fox, which recently paid top dollar for Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory and Twentieth's Modern Family, nor Tribune, which will launch a new late-night talk show starring Arsenio Hall next fall, ended up being aggressive players in these deals, although both groups submitted bids for both shows. But CBS' acquisition last December of WLNY suddenly made it a sitcom buyer in the nation's top market, and Weigel's WCIU Chicago is a strong buyer of sitcoms and other syndicated fare. Having those two options, plus plenty of duopoly stations in Los Angeles, gives syndicators some options.
Estimated broadcast license fees were not yet available.
2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly will air on CBS this fall on Mondays at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 2 Broke Girls, headed into its second season on the network, stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs and is produced by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. Mike & Molly, which will launch season three this fall, stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy and is executive produced by Chuck Lorre, Mark Roberts, Don Foster and James Burrows.
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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