TBS has landed cable off-net rights to Warner Bros. Television comedy 2 Broke Girls. The CBS sitcom - which is the No. 1 new comedy of the 2011-12 season - will begin airing on TBS in 2015. The studio has also finalized deals with CBS Television Stations and the Weigel station group for Broke Girls and WBTV's Mike & Molly for all 2014 and 2015 respectively.
CBS Television Stations will serve as the primary launch for the comedies where they will air in top markets including New York (WlNY), Los Angeles (KCAL), Boston (WSBK), Dallas (KTXA) and Atlanta (WUPA) among others. Weigel stations will air the shows in Chicago (WCIU) and Milwaukee (WDJT/WMLW). The series have been cleared in 35 percent of the country.
"When 2 Broke Girls premiered last fall, it immediately found its audience and appeared to us to be a perfect fit for TBS," Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), said in a statement. "With its funny and endearing lead performances, a terrific supporting cast and sharp writing, 2 Broke Girls brings a fresh, contemporary, attitude to the classic sitcom format. We believe 2 Broke Girls is poised to enjoy a long, successful run, and we look forward to adding it to the TBS line-up."
"Successful cable networks have built their programming slates with a strategic mix of acquired proven off-net series along with compelling original programming," added Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. "We are thrilled that 2 Broke Girls will have the opportunity to drive viewers to TBS in a similar way that The Big Bang Theory has, becoming a staple of their comedy line-up.”
TBS shares a corporate parent with WBTV. And the network has had much success with the Warner Bros. TV comedy The Big Bang Theory, which has lifted the network's ratings fortunes and given late-night franchise Conan a shot in the arm. Big Bang fetched more than $2 million in syndication fees (approximately $1.5 million from TBS; $500,000 from Fox stations).
The 2 Broke Girls deals come a week after bids for the comedy were due. At this point, WBTV domestic distribution will begin accepting bids for the cable rights to Mike & Molly, Chuck Lorre's CBS comedy that recently completed its second season on CBS. Sources say, that deal is likely to close next week.
Comedies have done particularly well in syndication with Two And a Half Men, Big Bang and 20th Century Fox Television's Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother raking in millions in off-net licensing fees.
But some observers have pointed out that female-fronted comedies often do not hold up well in syndication, particularly in the lucrative prime access hour from 7-8 p.m.
Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com; Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie