Sony Pictures Television has closed a deal with TBS for cable syndication rights to the studio’s CBS comedy series Rules of Engagement, which will premiere on the Turner network on Jan. 2. The timing of the deal is unusual. Sony Pictures TV shopped the comedy, now heading into its seventh season, a year and a half ago when its cable rights were picked up by WGN America in a non-exclusive deal. (The series also was sold in broadcast syndication). This fall, Rules launched in cable syndication on WGN America and in broadcast syndication in 96% of the country. TBS has now joined WGNA as a cable distributor of the off-network series. The move comes on the heels of Rules recently shooting its 100th episode, a major achievement for the comedy, which had been repeatedly on the verge of cancellation several times but survived every time to continue as one of CBS’ most reliable utility players. The comedy’s seventh season debuts Feb. 4 as Rules replaces canceled freshman Partners on Mondays.