MyNetworkTV Desperate for ‘Housewives’

May 25, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Buena Vista Television, the television distribution division of The Walt Disney Company, has sold “Desperate Housewives” to the Fox-owned MyNetworkTV-affiliated stations for a weekend syndication run.

The one-hour, Emmy winning “Housewives,” a crucial piece of ABC’s ratings turnaround strategy since it premiered in 2004, will run on the MyTV stations under a two-year deal beginning fall 2008.

As has been the case with most deals in recent years for hour-long off-network weekly series, the stations will not pay a license fee to carry the show’s syndicated run. Instead, the advertising time in each show will be divided up between stations and the distributor, with the local stations getting seven minutes per hour to sell locally and Buena Vista getting seven minutes to sell nationally.

Dennis Swanson, president of station operations for Fox Television Stations, said he expects “Housewives” serial dramedy style to pair well with Fox’s new MyNetworkTV schedule, which kicks off this fall with serialized romance dramas in prime time Monday through Friday.

“It fits consistently in both programming philosophy and promotability with everything we envision for MyNetworkTV,” Mr. Swanson said in an interview. “It’s ‘My Desperate Housewives.’ It fits, it’s a recognized brand, and it belongs to us in syndication.”

A comedic weekend hour launching in fall 2008 may serve MyTV and Buena Vista well, since there are currently no off-network series scheduled to move to syndication that season because of a dearth of viable sitcoms currently airing in broadcast.

The syndication deal for “Housewives” follows a pact Buena Vista made in April with Disney- and Hearst-owned Lifetime Television, which will begin airing the show on a weekly basis starting in August.