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EXCLUSIVE: 'Two and a Half Men' Renewed Through 2021

Tribune, Sinclair pick up show's second cycle for seven more years 11/17/2010 04:05:36 PM Eastern

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.

March