As It Takes Final Bows, Emmy Darling 'Schitt's Creek' Just Getting Started in Syndication

'Schitt's Creek' grew into global hit with multiplatform distribution strategy. (Image credit: Pop TV)

Coming off its record-setting Emmy haul of nine wins and a sweep of the comedy category, Schitt’s Creek is making its debut in broadcast syndication on Monday. The Canadian-produced show, which is sold in all-barter deals for two years, is cleared on Fox-owned stations in the country’s largest markets as well as on stations totaling 95% of the country, including on Sinclair, CBS and CW-Plus-owned stations.

“What begins as a fish-out-of-water story quickly develops into a nuanced love letter to family, delivered with warmth, humanity and perfect comedic timing,” said Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus in a statement. Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury sold the show into domestic broadcast syndication. “With a gifted cast and whip-smart writing, it’s easy to see why Schitt’s Creek appeals to Emmy voters, critics and viewers, and has built a loyal and passionate fan base.”

Over the next two weeks, Schitt’s Creek will begin airing on broadcast, cable and streaming platforms, which promises to grow its already substantial audience. On broadcast stations, the 80-episode series is airing as both a weekday strip and on weekends. Starting Friday, Oct. 2, Schitt’s Creek also has a run on ViacomCBS-owned Comedy Central, with the network stacking five episodes of the series on Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET. And the sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek debuts on Netflix on Wednesday, Oct. 7, so Netflix subscribers will now be able to watch the series in its entirety on that platform.

Related: ‘Schitt’s Creek’: So How Did an Obscure Canadian Sitcom Win Nine Emmys, Anyway?

With sitcoms such as Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory and Disney’s Modern Family aging -- Big Bang premiered in syndication in 2011 and Modern Family in 2013 -- having a new sitcom like Schitt’s Creek promises to freshen up access and late-night line-ups. And all of the buzz surrounding the show after its history-making Emmy night doesn’t hurt. Last week, Debmar-Mercury sent stations an Emmy-focused spot around the show to lift its final week of marketing prior to premiere.

Schitt’s Creek got its start in the U.S. on ViacomCBS’ Pop TV in February 2015 where it slowly grew a following. That following exploded when the show became available on Netflix after season three. That’s also when Debmar-Mercury took it into domestic broadcast syndication to help raise money to keep the show in production.

“We found them enough money to do those extra seasons,” said Marcus, and those seasons made all the difference.

In the meantime, ITV, which owns global distribution rights to the show, had sold it to Netflix and that’s when it found a huge and dedicated audience, driving the show all the way to its Emmy sweep.

Schitt’s Creek stars Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose, a once wealthy video store magnate, with Catherine O’Hara starring as his spoiled and entitled wife, Moira. Their adult children, David (Daniel Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy), are equally entitled, thus the whole family is confused when they suddenly find themselves living in a rundown motel in a remote town they own, Schitt’s Creek.

Schitt’s Creek is produced by Not A Real Company Productions Inc., which was founded by the father-son team of Eugene and Daniel Levy and is now run by Eugene, Daniel and Fred Levy as well as Andrew Barnsley. The series is produced in association with CBC and Pop TV. It’s distributed in domestic broadcast syndication by Debmar-Mercury and internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Paige Albiniak

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.