NBCUniversal Television and New Media Distribution today announced cable syndication deals with VH1 and Freeform for the first five seasons of The Mindy Project. The Universal TV-produced show will begin airing on both networks in October and episodes will also be available on the VH1 and Freeform apps.
This is an unusual deal since The Mindy Project, which started as a broadcast comedy on Fox, is now a streaming series on Hulu. OTT services more and more are becoming an alternative to traditional off-network deals, as Netflix’s deal for New Girl shows. But because a streaming platform makes a show ubiquitous, with all past episodes easily accessible, it is harder to make the case for cable syndication.
Neither VH1 nor Freeform have deep libraries of off-network series. Freeform’s top acquisition is Gilmore Girls, plus a a couple of comedies, Reba, The Middle and Last Man Standing. VH1’s big-ticket item is the Saturday Night Live library, plus several African American comedies, Girfriends, My Wife and Kids, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jamie Foxx Show.
The Mindy Project is created by and starring Mindy Kaling. It is executive produced by Kaling, Howard Klein, Matt Warburton, Charlie Grandy and Michael Spiller. Season five kicks off on October 4 on Hulu.