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FX Picks Up 'Mike & Molly'

FX will add Warner Bros.' Mike & Molly to its off-net sitcom arsenal in fall 2014. The show will join the channel's other off-net comedies -- Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, which starred Charlie Sheen, and Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother -- as well as possibly the network's original comedy, Anger Management, which also stars Sheen and opened on June 28 to record ratings. first reported this story, also noting that the show went for a $750,000 an episode, far less than Warner Bros.' other show that recently sold to TBS, 2 Broke Girls, which went for a record-breaking $1.7 million per episode.

Moreover, Mike & Molly, which was created and is executive produced by Chuck Lorre, also went for far less than Lorre's other two record-breaking syndication hits, Men and The Big Bang Theory. In 2006, Tribune paid a high price for three years of broadcast exclusivity for Men, which later was sold to FX for $800,000 an episode. Men ended up performing so well for Tribune that it set the standard for the so-called A-list sitcoms that followed it -- Big Bang Theory and Twentieth's Modern Family.  In 2010, The Big Bang Theory was sold to TBS for a then record-breaking $1.5 million an episode. Fox also paid high cash license fees for that show, which is now the number-one show in syndication and on TBS. That year, Twentieth sold Modern Family, which had just finished its first season, to NBCUniversal's USA Network for similar pricing.

Warner Bros. took out sophomore series, 2 Broke Girls, and third-year show, Mike & Molly, for sale at the same time this spring, offering them together or separately to TV stations and cable networks.

On the broadcast side, both sitcoms ended up going to CBS-owned stations in New York and Los Angeles and Weigel's WCIU in Chicago. That sale marked a change in the sitcom-buying market, which for the past few years has been dictated by the choices of Fox and Tribune, both of whom own the key sitcom-airing stations in top markets.