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HBO Pushes Group Sex

5/11/2003 08:00:00 PM Eastern

HBO is meeting with network-owned stations and other major station groups to gauge interest in the pay channel's hit, Sex and the City, as an off-net sitcom for 2005-06, sources confirm.

The new push for the syndie sale doesn't mean that HBO has given up hope on getting a network window for the show, although no new talks are happening. In February, word broke that HBO was trying to sell sanitized versions of the urban comedy to the broadcast networks for prime time for about $3 million an episode.

No networks bit because they were worried that they might seem to lack faith in their own program development if they picked up a show from the pay channel, whose hit shows increasingly rival broadcast hits in terms of ratings and exposure.

HBO hired Scott Carlin from Warner Bros. Domestic Television and Tom Cerio from Buena Vista to handle its new syndicated sales division; selling Sex and the City
is their first project. HBO is expected to try to sell its other hit series, The Sopranos
and Six Feet Under, and could also sell its lesser hits, such as Arli$$, to TV stations. The syndication sales force of AOL Time Warner sister company Warner Bros. Domestic Television is helping HBO sell Sex.

HBO shows have ended up on a broadcast network in the past. In the early '90s, Fox aired episodes of the channel's Tales From the Crypt
and Dream On, but neither show experienced much ratings success.

 

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