Everybody Hates Chris Finds Love with Nick at Nite

The CW Sitcom Gets Fresh Start with Off-Network Cable Slot in 2009 3/01/2008 12:00:00 AM Eastern

Nick at Nite acquired CBS’ off-net sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris, for a fall-2009 premiere, sources familiar with the deal said.

Everybody Hates Chris

The show already is cleared in off-network broadcast syndication for fall 2009, with 52% of the country covered and deals signed with stations from the Fox, CBS, Cox Television and Weigel Broadcasting station groups.

Estimates valued the nonexclusive Nick deal at $450,000 per episode, including two minutes of national barter for the first three years of the four-year deal.

Everybody Hates Chris, executive-produced by Chris Rock and Ali LeRoi, airs on The CW Sundays at 8 p.m. and is averaging 2.4 million viewers season-to-date and a 0.9 rating/3 share season-to-date among adults 18-34, down 19% among all viewers and 18% among adults 18-34 from this time last year.

But few shows on The CW get much beyond a 1 rating, so for Nick at Nite, Chris is a rerun that will still seem fresh to many viewers. And with a dearth of available off-net sitcoms for syndication, Everybody Hates Chris has value that exceeds its paltry ratings.

Last summer, TBS picked up NBC Universal’s The Office and Twentieth Television’s My Name Is Earl, paying an estimated $600,000-$700,000 per episode for each show. TBS is getting an exclusive window for both shows, with The Office beginning last fall and Earl starting this month. Stations are expected to start airing both shows in fall 2009.

Nick at Nite is owned by Viacom, which spun off CBS, half-owner of The CW, into its own company in December 2005. Viacom retained ownership of Paramount Pictures and the cable networks -- including Nickelodeon and MTV -- while CBS owns the slower-growth broadcast, radio and outdoor assets, as well as premium-cable channel Showtime. Warner Bros. is the other major owner of The CW.

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