UPDATE TUESDAY 10 AM: More details on the blockbuster off-network deals for Glee and Modern Family have emerged. We’ve learned that Modern Family, which marks the first major sitcom acquisition for USA Network, has fetched a license fee close to the eye-popping $1.5 million an episode that The Big Bang Theory recently landed from TBS, with some sources indicating that Modern Family‘s fee might have even exceeded Big Bang‘s.
We also hear that Oxygen’s deal for Glee also includes the rights to do two Glee-themed specials. Sources indicated that Twentieth Television was not planning to take Glee and Modern Family on the off-network market until this fall but was approached by NBC Universal with a big preemptive package offer for both shows. That offer, the excitement in the cable marketplace following the recent record-breaking sale of Big Bang and cable’s overall financial strength prompted Twentieth TV to open bidding for both shows, whose deals were negotiated separately. Glee and Modern Family will start airing on Oxygen and USA as strips in fall 2013. The station portion of the two shows’ off-network sale will be tackled later.
EXCLUSIVE Tuesday 1AM: The TV syndication market is red-hot and here’s more evidence: the 2 most talked-about new series of this TV season, Fox’s Glee and ABC’s Modern Family, are headed to big off-network syndication deals. We’ve learned that Twentieth Television is finalizing separate deals for the cable rights to both hit shows made by 20th Century Fox TV with NBC Universal’s Oxygen and USA Network. Glee will be heading to Oxygen, which we hear is paying mid-six figures per episode, plus airing a 2011 reality show to find the next Glee star. While Modern Family will land at USA Network which until now has been focused on hour long procedurals. We hear the deals were negotiated directly with the cable networks, both of whom are NBCU-owned and soon to be Comcast-owned.
That Glee reality show on Oxygen for next summer, which fits into the network’s all-unscripted lineup, will feature contestants vying for a role on the musical dramedy. Co-creator Ryan Murphy had originally planned the contest to lead Glee’s 2nd season premiere on Fox this coming fall. But then he realized he was too busy. Additionally, we hear the Oxygen deal involves some additional Glee-related original programming. This syndication deal also will include a station component. As a source told us, “Twentieth TV sees the big picture of this show. It’s intent on building this brand that is Glee: a live touring business, music download business, soundtrack album business, DVD business, now syndication business.” On Oxygen, Glee will join another recent off-network series with a strong women 18-34 pull, America’s Next Top Model.
As for Modern Family, USA has been mulling an expansion into the half-hour business and recently ordered its first half-hour script. The network also has been looking for off-network series to support its upcoming half-hour originals. The Modern Family sale marks the 2nd series from freshman class 2009-2010 picked up by USA. Last fall, the cable network shelled out $2.2M-$2.3M per episode for the rights to the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles.