CBS Television Distribution has acquired the domestic broadcast distribution rights to TV Land's Hot in Cleveland.
"Right now, there's a lack of sitcoms in the marketplace, so we think the marketplace will be ready for this," says Scott Koondel, SVP of corporate licensing and distribution for CBS Corp., and president of distribution for CTD. "The show is really good creatively, has total star-power, gets ratings and is underexposed. The idea is to fully monetize it on broadcast stations."
CTD plans to take the show out for sale to TV stations in the next six or nine months, says Koondel. "If production stays aggressive, the show could be available as early as September 2013."
"This is really a milestone for TV Land and for Viacom Media Networks," says Larry W. Jones, president of TV Land. "To get a scripted series into production, have it hit, and then bring it to the marketplace in syndication is an amazing achievement by any standard for any network."
Hot in Cleveland premiered on TV Land in June 2010, opening to an audience of nearly five million viewers, the largest in the network's history. It was such an immediate hit that in July 2010, TV Land renewed it for a second season, which premiered in January 2011. Production on season three began in September and began airing on the network last month. By the end of this production cycle, there will be 58 episodes of the show. Ideally, TV stations want to have at least 100 episodes of a series available in order to strip it five nights a week.
Hot in Cleveland stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. On Wednesday (Dec. 14), White who turns 90 in January, was nominated for her second Screen Actors Guild award for her role in the show.
The show was created by Frasier's Suzanne Martin and based on an original idea by feature-film producer Lynda Obst. It's executive produced by Martin, and Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, and their respective production companies SamJen Productions and Hazy Mills Productions in association with TV Land. Obst also is executive producer.