"It's time," says Barry Thurston.
Thurston, president of Columbia TriStar Television Distribution, and his crew are putting a "for sale" sign on the off-net syndicated run of NBC comedy Just Shoot Me. Currently in its fourth season, Just Shoot Me will have enough episodes to justify a 2001 debut, and that is what "in all probability" is going to be offered, Thurston says.
While Will & Grace, That '70s Show and Dharma & Greg are all being shopped for off-net runs during their second seasons, CTTD historically waits until the third or fourth season of a network show to enter the market. Seinfeld was sold after the fourth season, as were The Nanny and Married...With Children.
Thurston says he and much of his staff have experienced being on the buying side, and that taught them that waiting is often the key to maximizing the price. There's less risk to a station and more room for a high asking price when a show has proved itself for three or more seasons on a network, he adds. "At this point, you know what the characters are like, the writing is like and the themes are like. And in Just Shoot Me's case, you have seen the show in several different time periods, against different competition."