The Walking Dead is headed to MyNetworkTV. The network has acquired off-network rights to the blockbuster AMC drama. The Walking Dead, currently the highest rated scripted series on TV in adults 18-49, will make its debut on MyNetworkTV in the fall, with two episodes from Seasons 1-3 airing back-to-back on one night a week. The network is later expected to get access to subsequent seasons of the zombie drama. “This agreement extends the reach of the number one show on television among adults 18-49 by giving viewers primetime access to The Walking Dead with back-to-back episodes on broadcast television one night a week,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “The Walking Dead has grown in each of its first four seasons on AMC, and we look forward to exposing this compelling story and these unforgettable characters to new fans on MyNetworkTV.” The last statement refers to the fact that many series get a ratings boost in their primary run after they launch in syndication, though that usually happens with major cable networks, like TNT TBS or USA, as the off-network partner.
This will be by far the highest profile series on MyNetworkTV, whose lineup features repeats of Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: CI, House, Bones and Monk. “It’s not often you get to add the hottest show on the planet to your lineup,” Frank Cicha of the Fox TV Stations said. ” We just did, and it’s a tremendous get for our stations.” Basic cable series are making gains in the off-network drama space, once reserved for broadcast procedurals, with the flow now also going in the opposite direction, from cable to broadcast. For instance, Ion airs repeats of USA’s Burn Notice, Monk and Psych and TNT’s Leverage.
The Walking Dead syndication deal expands AMC’s collaboration with Fox Entertainment Group. Fox International Channels partnered with AMC on the series at the get-go, helping it become a global success. Another Fox division, Twentieth TV, will handle ad sales for The Walking Dead on MyNetworkTV.