The cable deal, which Pop has been touting in its ongoing upfront meetings with advertisers, complements the other two off-network sales for the 1980s-themed comedy, an SVOD pact with Hulu, and a broadcast syndication one with the Tribune stations. The Goldbergs, which ranks as the third highest-rated comedy series on television in Live+7 adults 18-49 behind The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, will launch on all three outlets at the same time this coming fall.
“It was a big swing for us to go after something so fresh off-network,” said Pop president Brad Schwartz. “Even though it’s a new show, because it’s so nostalgic, it would fit perfectly with all the other shows that are on our network.”
One of the series that launched Pop (formerly TV Guide Channel), was the unscripted Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block, featuring members of the boy band from the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of them, Joey McIntyre, toplines a new scripted comedy series for Pop, along with 90s TV child stars Jodie Sweetin, Beverley Mitchell and Christine Lakin, who also headline a comedy series for the network.
“We target this audience, modern grown-ups, people who grew up in the 1990s, so the acquisition strategy to date has been to get a lot of those classics that our audience grew up with, including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The OC, That ’70s Show, Dawson’s Creek, and it’s been doing really, really well for us.”
That acquisition strategy also includes the recent deal for iconic 1990s medical drama ER, which had not been available anywhere for the past seven years, including on cable or SVOD service. “We put it on two weeks ago with very little fanfare, and it’s been killing it, it was doing over 200,000 viewers all day Saturday,” Schwartz said. “It’s a show that people who grew up watching it would love and a whole new generation that have never seen it are going to love.”
After a promising start in the challenging Tuesday 8:30 PM slot, The Goldbergs thrived when it relocated to Wednesdays in Season 2, posting rare second-year ratings growth. The series, about 11-year-old Adam who, armed with a video camera, captures the antics of his nutty but loving family, was moved to 8 PM at the beginning of this season, serving as a sturdy anchor of ABC’s Wednesday comedy block.
Adam F. Goldberg created The Goldbergs and executive produces the series with Doug Robinson, Seth Gordon, Alex Barnow and Marc Firek for Sony TV and Happy Madison.