/// FX Lands Warner’s ‘Mike & Molly’

July 5, 2012  |  Media Week

In what can be characterized as one hell of a bargain, FX has landed the off-network rights to the Warner Bros. Domestic Television comedy Mike & Molly for about half the market rate. According to insiders, Warner licensed Mike & Molly to FX for a price that averages out to around $800,000 per episode, making it a steal when compared to recent off-net deals. In June, TBS paid a record $1.7 million per episode for the rights to Warner’s freshman sitcom, 2 Broke Girls , a few ticks higher than what the Turner net coughed up for The Big Bang Theory back in 2010 ($1.5 million). All three aforementioned comedies originated on CBS, where they pull huge ratings. Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, The Big Bang Theory was the top-rated scripted series on TV during the 2011-12 campaign, averaging 13.5 million viewers and a 4.4 rating in the adults 18-to-49 demo. In its first season on CBS, 2 Broke Girls was the No. 1 new scripted show, averaging 9.88 million viewers and a 3.7 in the demo. As for Mike & Molly , the Melissa McCarthy vehicle is no slouch, delivering 10.2 million viewers and a 3.2 in the demo behind the juggernaut that is Two and a Half Men . Next fall, Two and a Half Men will move to Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m., where it will lead out of TBBT . How I Met Your Mother will continue to set the table for CBS’s Monday night lineup, only instead of leading into 2 Broke Girls , the show begins its eighth season as the set-up man for newcomer Partners , a workplace/buddy comedy starring David Krumholtz and Michael Urie. Partners will lead into 2 Broke Girls , which moves up a half-hour to the 9 p.m. slot. Girls then hands off to Mike & Molly in the final half-hour of CBS’s two-hour comedy block. Warner brought Girls and M&M to market last month—both shows were also packaged for local broadcast syndication—but the sassier, brassier 2BG drew more heat than the latter series. M&M joins the FX roster in the fall of 2014. Warner/CBS comedies have carried their weight on cable. Last week, The Big Bang Theory accounted of nine of the top 10 most-watched programs on TBS, and nearly two years into its off-net pact with FX, encore telecasts of Two and a Half Men still draw north of 2 million viewers. While M&M may seem like an odd fit for FX’s stable of comedies—originals include the new Charlie Sheen project Anger Management , as well as Louis , Wilfred , It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia , Archer and The League —network president John Landgraf has made a cottage industry out of confounding the industry’s expectations.

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FX Lands Warner’s ‘Mike & Molly’

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