FX Nears Deal for 'Mother'

Cable network FX is close to acquiring Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother to begin airing this fall, according to sources.

FX will likely pair the show with Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, which it acquired in 2007 for approximately $800,000 and began airing last fall. Mother also joins other acquired sitcoms on FX, such as Twentieth's Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show.

How I Met Your Mother airs in primetime on CBS and has been renewed for two more seasons. The show also will continue to air on Lifetime, where it's been running since September. Lifetime paid approximately $725,000 an episode for the show, according to reports.

Now FX and Lifetime will split the cash component and each get 5 1/2 minutes of barter in the show, while Twentieth gets 1 1/2 minutes. Ratings for the national barter time are cumed across all broadcast and cable plays, and that additional exposure should improve the show's financial returns. How I Met Your Mother airs 12 times a week in double-runs on weekdays and twice each weekend.

How I Met Your Mother stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal, Allyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders, and was created and is executive produced by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays for Twentieth Century Fox Television. It began airing in broadcast syndication this fall, and is this year's top-rated rookie. In the week ending March 27, the show averaged a 2.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

FX and Twentieth each declined to comment.

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.