FX has secured the off-network rights to a CBS comedy hit for what is being called a “bargain basement” price, Deadline.com reports.
The show is Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution’s "Mike & Molly," with the company selling cable rights for syndication to FX for under $1 million an episode, according to insiders. Sources indicated the figure may be as low as $750,000 per episode.
The series is set to premiere on FX in September 2014.
FX reportedly wasn’t pursuing rights to the sitcom as recently as last week, and it was expected to go to TBS. The story quotes an executive saying: “We were not in the bidding and had no intention to be, based on how crazy-high pricing on sitcoms has been lately.”
FX obtained exclusive cable rights and the freedom to air the show in any daypart.
“’Mike & Molly’ now joins fellow comedies ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on the FX roster,” the report notes. “So what happened? The bargain basement price.”
Said one executive quoted in the story: ”We came into the bidding at the very end of last week when we got a sense of where the marketplace was. We felt that this was a very good show that was going to go for a reasonable price and could not resist the value proposition.”
The report adds: “Indeed, the price for ‘Mike & Molly’ looked like pennies compared to the record-setting off-network sale of fellow Warner Bros. comedy series ‘Two Broke Girls’‘ reported $1.7M an episode license fee.”
“Two weeks ago, Warner Bros. TV took both shows out,” the report says. “But because there was stronger interest in freshman ‘Two Broke Girls,’ the studio opted to focus on it first. That sparked a bidding war won by TBS. At the same time, Warner Bros. also sold both sitcoms in broadcast syndication to the CBS stations. ‘Mike & Molly‘s’ cable sale was next. But it didn’t create the bidding frenzy that ‘Two Broke Girls’ triggered. Ergo the more moderate license fee.”