Sony Preps ‘Gags’ for U.S. Market

Aug 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sony Pictures Television has acquired domestic distribution rights to 96 half-hour episodes of the Canadian hidden-camera series “Just for Laughs Gags,” with plans to make the program available immediately.

The show, which has been shown in more than 120 countries, has never been aired in the United States, said John Weiser, president of distribution for Sony Pictures Television. “We’ve got a deep 96 episodes,” Mr. Weiser said. “That’s a library of episodes that will provide instant value and programming.”

“Laughs” mines humor from mostly physical comedy and sight gags.

Sony is putting together a sales pitch for the series, but Mr. Weiser said the product will be “available immediately.” It is being offered to broadcasters, cable networks and syndication.

“This could be a network show,” Mr. Weiser said. “The opportunity to custom-tailor [the series] to a network is completely doable.”

“Laughs,” produced by Distributions Juste Pour Rire, is an outgrowth of the more than two-decade-old Montreal comedy festival Just for Laughs, which is held annually in July.