Lionsgate Digs In On ‘Weeds’ Syndication Offering For The Fall; Reboot Of Mary-Louise Parker Pot Drama Budding At Starz


Coming off windfall global licensing sales of Mad Men last month, Lionsgate is now digging a little deeper into its library to bring Weeds to market later this year.

“We’re readying our next big property Weeds for syndication in the fall,” Jon Feltheimer said Thursday after the company’s latest earnings report was released. Seeding the sales ground again, the CEO’s statement picks up on his own remarks last November. A further tease of the cash crop was made by Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs in late May Beggs told analysts at that time the company was “encouraged by what we’re seeing with Mad Men and looking forward to monetizing Weeds further on its fourth cycle.”

Drilling into the expanding asset of their library holdings, which includes the Netflix locked-in Orange Is The New Black and the growing Power franchise, Lionsgate’s quarterly earnings report Thursday saw revenue from their library soar to a record $219 million in this latest quarter. Television profits leap almost 40% to $34.9 million, in no small part to that Mad Men money.

Leaning into increased content demands as more and more platforms emerge and encompass legacy properties, Lionsgate is looking at a similar sale to the multiple ports of call that the acclaimed Matthew Weiner created series achieved, I hear.

The second syndication sale of Mad Men docked at Amazon and IMDbTV internationally and on various platforms at its old AMC home domestically. Additionally, having had its first licensing run on Netflix the past several years, the Jon Hamm-led series will be seen on Lionsgate owned Starzplay across their European and LatAm markets as well as in Japan.

Unlike Mad Men, the prepping of a sale or sales of Weeds’ eight season run comes as the Mary Louise Parker starrer has a sequel series in development at Starz.

Likely to provide some extra marquee value and cash margin multiples to any Weeds deal, the latest installment of the Jenji Kohan created show is set to pick up a decade after the 2012 end of the original Showtime aired series. In the continuation of the multiple Emmy winning show, Parker’s pot selling suburbanite Nancy Botwin and the rest of her family and crew are now doing business in an era of legalized marijuana.

The reboot of the Lionsgate TV producer series was first unveiled back in November 2019.

Parker has signed on to both star and executive produce the new series, which has a working title of Weeds 4.20. An alum of the original Weeds, Victoria Morrow is onboard as writer and EP for the sequel. Series creator and original Weeds showrunner Kohan, who inked an exclusive deal with Netflix in 2017, is not attached to the reboot.

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