Oxygen, USA Acquire 'Glee,' 'Modern Family'

Twentieth Television has sold this
year's two hot rookie shows - Glee and Modern Family - to cable
networks owned by NBC Universal. Glee will go to Oxygen and Modern
to USA, each for a fall 2013 start, sources confirmed this morning.

Deadline.com's Nellie Andreeva first
reported the deal early this morning (June 29).

The deal came about after NBCU made
preemptive offers for both shows last week, forcing Twentieth to take Modern
to the cable market earlier than expected, and pushing potential
buyers to scramble to place bids. Oxygen reportedly is paying approximately
$500,000 an episode for Glee, and gets the rights to air a Glee-related
reality show looking for the next Glee cast member that will air in June
2011.The singing hitwill join Oxygen's line-up with a
weekend marathon of the second season in January 2011, as the show hits the
middle of its third season on Fox.

"This is a unique syndication
opportunity and we're thrilled to be working on it with Oxygen," said Steve MacDonald,
Twentieth's EVP and general sales manager, basic cable, in a statement released
this afternoon. MacDonald spearheaded the deal for Twentieth. "This deal not
only provides viewers with the opportunity to see even more of the drama,
comedy, song and dance that they have come to expect from Glee,
but also extends the reach of this pop-culture phenomenon's brand through a new
reality series."

"Glee is the No. 1
hit show for women 18-34 and Generation O is obsessed with it," added
Jason Klarman, President, Oxygen Media, in the same statement. "It's ‘Live Out
Loud' in every way," referencing Oxygen's tagline.

USA paid as much as $1.4 million an
episode for Modern Family, report sources, just under what TBS paid for
Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory at $1.5 million. TBS allegedly bid
$1.1 million for Modern Family, but was caught off guard by NBCU's
preemptive offer.

That price represents top-dollar for
an off-net sitcom, although many syndication executives say they wonder if Modern
could have gotten even more money had Twentieth waited a few more
months and marketed the show more thoroughly. Still, studios often prefer to
lock deals in early, and that certainty combined with a financially attractive
offer likely motivated Twentieth. 

Under terms of the deal, USA has the
rights to strip the show Monday-through Sunday starting in fall 2013, which is
also when the show is expected to premiere in broadcast syndication. Those
deals haven't started yet, and are expected to begin early next winter.

"This is one of the most
exciting deals to date for USA," said Jane Blaney, EVP of program acquisitions
and scheduling, in a statement. "Arguably one of the most successful shows on
television, Modern Family couldn't be a better fit for the network. The
winning combination of terrific writing, a strong ensemble cast and cultural
relevance align perfectly with the Characters Welcome brand and the audience we
continue to attract."

"Modern Family is an
incredible comedy series driven by a strong ensemble cast, which we think will
be an excellent complement to USA Network's slate of character driven
programs," said MacDonald.

Glee is executive produced by Ryan Murphy and airs on Fox. Modern
is executive produced by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd and runs
on ABC.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.