LAFF Grabs Top Sitcoms in Carsey-Werner Deal

LAFF, the year-old digital multicast network focusing on comedy, is adding five top sitcoms in a multi-year licensing deal with Carsey-Werner.

The new deal will enable LAFF to air Roseanne, That '70s Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Grounded for Life and Cybill.

LAFF, owned by Katz Broadcasting, is carried on the digital subchannels of local TV stations reaching 86.5 million households in the U.S.

Related: Laff Network Adds Nine Stations to Roster

"With comedy-driven cable networks now focused on producing original series for millennials, LAFF is positioned to become the new leading comedy destination for adults 18-49, said Jonathan Katz, president and CEO of Katz Broadcasting. "LAFF now boasts an impressive line-up of hit sitcoms with broad consumer appeal."

LAFF already airs sitcoms including The Drew Carey Show, Spin City, Grace Under Fire, Night Court, Ellen and Empty Nest.

Related: ‘Night Court' Convenes on LAFF

Katz Broadcasting also owns Grit, a multicast network aimed at men 25-54 that airs action-oriented shows and movies, and Escape, which targets women 25-54 with crime and mystery programming.

A former Turner Broadcasting executive, Katz is also COO of Bounce TV, the multicast broadcast network serving African Americans.

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*             Roseanne, rated as one of the greatest shows of all time by TV Guide, was the most-watched television show in the United States in the late 1980s - early 90s. Starring comedienne Roseanne Barr, who won an Emmy for her performance, the show revolved around the Conners, a blue collar Illinois family. John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert also star.

*             That '70s Show was a flagship show for Fox between 1998-2006. The multiple Emmy-winning series focuses on the lives of a group of Wisconsin teens in the disco decade and helped its stars including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace become household names.

*             3rd Rock from the Sun was on NBC from 1996 to 2001 and its star, John Lithgow was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series every year, winning three. Kristen Johnston won two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress during the run as well. The show centers around four extraterrestrials posing as human beings on an expedition to Earth. Jane Curtin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and French Stewart co-star.

*             Grounded for Life aired for five seasons, starting on Fox and then moving to The WB. An Irish Catholic family living in Staten Island is at the heart of the series, with Donal Logue and Megyn Price playing the high school sweethearts who went on to get married and raise a family.

*             Cybill, created by Chuck Lorre, stars Cybill Shepherd as a twice-divorced single mother struggling as a middle-aged actress in Hollywood. The show earned 12 Emmy nominations across its four season run. Christine Baranski won Emmy, SAG and American Comedy Awards for her portrayal of Cybill's hard-drinking best friend.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.