USA Network's Comedy Pilot 'Paging Dr. Freed' On Hold Over Deal Issues

EXCLUSIVE: Back in September, USA Network announced the green light for its first two half-hour comedy pilots in more than a decade, including Michael Feldman’s Paging Dr. Freed. Four months later, Paging Dr. Freed is hanging by a thread as it still doesn’t have a closed license fee deal between USA and the project’s producer Fox 21. Negotiations between networks and studios are always contentious but they are particularly difficult between vertically-integrated companies owned by different congloms. That is the case with Paging Dr. Freed, which involves NBCUniversal’s USA and Fox21, a division of Fox’s 20th Century Fox TV, which haven’t done business together before. Complicating things is the fact that USA has to create a deal template as it enters a new genre, half-hour comedy. I hear that the sticking point in the negotiations has been the issue of SVOD (subscription VOD) rights, involving subscription streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. (more…)

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