UPDATED: Warner Bros Domestic TV Distribution has sold comedy series The Middle in off-network cable and broadcast syndication for a fall 2013 launch. On the cable side, ABC Family has picked up rights to the comedy, which airs on sibling ABC. On the broadcast side, the series has been sold in more than 92% of the country to stations owned by Tribune, Sinclair and CBS, among others. Despite often being in the shadow of Modern Family, with which it launched and runs in the same Wednesday ABC comedy block, The Middle has held its own in the anchor 8 PM slot, steadily growing in the ratings. Season-to-date, the comedy starring Patricia Heaton is up vs. last season by 3% in total viewers and 8% in adults 18-49 after also posting gains in Season 2. With the deal, The Middle, produced by Warner Bros TV, joins Modern Family, which was sold to USA in summer 2010. In its announcement, WBDTD stressed The Middle‘s solid repeatability, noting that the show retains 65% of its adults 25-54 audience while in repeats — more than ABC companion Modern Family and competitors The Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men on CBS, the three comedies with the biggest syndication deals.
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