Up TV and Freeform have licensed the cable syndication rights to ABC’s family sitcom Fresh Off the Boat from Twentieth TV. The comedy will join Up TV and Freeform’s lineups later this year. The deal for both networks includes all four seasons plus the recently picked up season five of the series.
The pact comes only two months before FOTB is eligible for a syndication run this September. The late dealmaking is in line with the changed realities of the off-network business, with cable networks relying more on originals vs. acquired programming and taking their time to see how broadcast sitcoms perform over multiple seasons before moving in to buy them. The height of the cable syndication market was several years ago when TBS paid record price for CBS/WBTV’s then red-hot comedy 2 Broke Girl after one season. The series’ ratings tapered off quickly after that.
FOTB has a SVOD deal at Hulu; the show does not seem to have a broadcast syndication pact in place. Hulu is a corporate sibling to ABC and 20th TV; Freeform is a sister network to ABC and possibly soon to 20th TV if the studio is acquired by Disney.
Set in the mid-‘90s, 12-year-old hip-hop loving Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang) and his family are adjusting to their new lives in suburban Orlando. New schools, new friends, new neighbors, new traditions – yet still holding true to their family values and their continual pursuit of the American Dream. Inspired by Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat and created by Nahnatchka Khan, Fresh Off the Boat stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery, Ian Chen as Evan, Lucille Soong as Grandma Huang and Chelsey Crisp as Honey.
“Fresh Off the Boat continues to grow its audience on broadcast, and with the recent pickup of a fifth season, we are thrilled that the series is coming to UP,” said Amy Winter, EVP and general manager, UP TV. “UP celebrates family life and with all the heart and humor included in Fresh Off the Boat, this contemporary, family story is a perfect fit.”
Added Sarah Tomassi Lindman, SVP of Content Planning and Strategy, Freeform, “Fresh Off the Boat has a unique comedic voice that will resonate with young adult audiences and fit well alongside Freeform’s original content. The Huang family’s authentic, humorous and meaningful way of navigating a new environment reflects our viewer’s experiences and are exactly the kind of stories we are proud to have on our network.”
Khan also serves as executive producer and showrunner. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar are executive producers. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television for ABC.
Fresh Off the Boat returns to ABC this fall.