UPDATED: A week after the deadline for bids on Warner Bros. comedy series 2 Broke Girls, the hot CBS freshman has found a buyer in TBS in a deal that sources said is setting a new cable record for an off-network sale. I hear the license fee is a record-setting $1.7 million per episode, eclipsing the previous record of $1.5 million an episode set by The Big Bang Theory, which also went to TBS. (Modern Family was sold for close to that to USA in 2010.) Additionally, CBS TV Stations has acquired both 2 Broke Girls and the other comedy series Warner Bros has been shopping, sophomore Mike & Molly, for debuts in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Final cable bids for Mike & Molly are due tonight, with a sale expected next week. Warner Bros. TV Distribution took out 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly early in part to secure station sales before another multi-camera sitcom, Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, hits the marketplace. The latter has been aggressively promoting its availability to stations in face of competition from 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly.
The high price for 2 Broke Girls at TBS stems from the scarcity of marquee multi-camera sitcoms for basic cable networks to acquire. TBS, a sibling of Warner Bros, is riding high on the ratings success of another young-skewing CBS/Warner Bros off-network comedy acquisition, The Big Bang Theory, the No. 1 sitcom on basic cable, and word is the network was very aggressive in pursuing 2 Broke Girls, which was put on the market after only one season. It will join TBS’ lineup in 2015. “When 2 Broke Girls premiered last fall, it immediately found its audience and appeared to us to be a perfect fit for TBS,” said TNT and TBS programming head Michael Wright. “We believe 2 Broke Girls is poised to enjoy a long, successful run, and we look forward to adding it to the TBS lineup.”
The CBS Television Stations will serve as the primary launch group for 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly on its stations in New York (WLNY-TV), Los Angeles (KCAL-TV), Philadelphia (WPSG-TV), Dallas (KTXA-TV), San Francisco (KBCW-TV), Boston (WSBK-TV), Atlanta (WUPA-TV), Detroit (WKBD-TV), Seattle (KSTW-TV), Tampa (WTOG-TV), Miami (WBFS-TV), Sacramento (KMAX-TV) and Pittsburgh (WPCW-TV). The two series also has been bought by the Weigel station group for its stations in Chicago (WCIU-TV) and Milwaukee (WDJT-TV/WMLW-TV). Overall, the series has been cleared in 35% of the country. The deals are said to be standard cash plus barter, with stations retaining 5.5 minutes of ad time and Warner Bros. getting 1.5. The thinking behind CBS TV Stations going for both shows is that they are compatible and already air together on CBS.
2 Broke Girls stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs. It was created by Michael Patrick King, who serves as a showrunner, and Whitney Cummings. The series’ profile will be rising in the fall when CBS moves the sitcom to the tentpole Monday 9 PM position. It will be paired with Mike & Molly, starring Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell, which airs at 9:30 PM. Mike & Molly was created by Mark Roberts, who is exec producing with Chuck Lorre.
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