EXCLUSIVE: 'Two and a Half Men' Renewed Through 2021
Tribune, Sinclair pick up show's second cycle for seven more years
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/17/2010 4:05:36 PM
Warner Bros. has renewed its top-rated sitcom, Two and a Half Men, for another seven years on the Tribune and Sinclair station groups.
With those two groups on board, the show is now cleared in almost half the country through September 2021. Tribune renewed the show in all 19 of its markets -- including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- while Sinclair renewed it in all 21 of its incumbent markets. Sinclair's stations are mostly located in mid-size markets, including Pittsburgh, Nashville, Tenn., and Columbus, Ohio.
"When Two and a Half Men went on the air over three years ago, it was an immediate game-changer that significantly elevated the performance of our stations, and we have never looked back. This is one of those rare shows -- like Friends and Seinfeld -- that will continue to deliver for decades," said Sean Compton, Tribune's president of programming, in a statement. Compton brought Warner Bros. a preemptive and premium offer for the show that forced its second cycle to market sooner than expected.
Warner Bros. sold Two and a Half Men to stations in 2006 for license fees in the range of $2 million an episode. (Stations pay for off-net sitcoms on a weekly basis, however). Barter advertising sales add another approximately $2 million per episode to the mix. And this fall, the show began airing on News Corp.'s FX, which paid $850,000 per episode.
Syndicators usually renew sitcoms for 50% of their original fee for five years. Warner Bros. got fees that were significantly higher than that standard, report sources, and a term that was two years longer. That Warner Bros. was able to do that, right behind two other big sitcom sales -- Twentieth's Modern Family and Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory -- demonstrates how valuable top-rated sitcoms are to TV stations. Moreover, there are no similarly popular sitcoms on the horizon, causing stations to want to shore up their assets now.
"Two and a Half Men is an enormous hit in syndication," said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, in a statement. "It is a dominant show that invigorated the off-network sitcom marketplace and the stations that licensed it. Tribune and Sinclair realized that with fewer hit sitcoms coming down the pike, securing a franchise performer like Two and a Half Men is vital to maintaining their market position in the years to come."
Although Two and a Half Men wasn't an immediate blockbuster when it premiered in syndication in fall 2007, it grew over the course of its first season to become syndication's top-rated sitcom by a large margin. It has maintained that status ever since, being the top-rated off-net sitcom for 163 weeks in a row.
Season-to-date, Two and a Half Men is averaging a 5.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and a 3.3 among adults 25-54. The show outperforms its nearest competitor, Twentieth's Family Guy, by 77% in households and 83% in adults 25-54. The show's run on cable hasn't impacted its ratings on broadcast, maintaining its share across the board and dipping by an average of only one-tenth of a ratings point.
Two and a Half Men stars Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones. Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn are the creators and executive producers. Other EPs are Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Don Foster, Eddie Gorodetsky and Susan Beavers for Chuck Lorre Productions and The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Smart move for Tribune, FOX would have crushed Tribune by landing this show. How Tribune and Sinclair got this done quietly is amazing.
Jeff Walker - 11/17/2010 5:24:32 PM EST
Yeah, tell me if the CBS show is renewed. No one cares about RERUNS in syndication and their renewals. The odds are half of the stations will drop it by 2015 to make room for other higher rated shows newly entering syndication after it wears out its welcome anyway. By 2021 the few stations still airing it will probably have it on at like 2am like Cheers is now on most stations...
KyL - 11/17/2010 5:13:53 PM EST
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