Katz Likes Sitcoms, Game Shows

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In syndication, Katz Television Group is enthusiastic about two new off-net sitcoms: Debmar-Mercury's Tyler Perry's House of Payne, premiering on stations next fall, and CBS' Everybody Hates Chris, debuting in fall 2009.

Katz also talked up game shows, going through something of a renaissance, and gave generally positive spin to Debmar's new Trivial Pursuit: America Plays and the upcoming syndie version of NBC Universal's Deal or No Deal.

That's the bottom line from Katz's annual pre-NATPE programming report, which notes that in the syndication season in progress, only three rookies can be considered successful: Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, Twentieth's Family Guy and Warner Bros.' TMZ.

Katz sees the terms of CBS' Chris deal as particularly attractive because it only runs for three years, as opposed to remaining open-ended as long as the program is on the air, and CBS is being flexible as to when stations can run the show.

NBC Universal's The Office and My Name Is Earl both are coming to syndication as well, with The Office cleared for fall 2009 and Earl still unclear. Both shows will first air on TBS, making them less attractive to stations, says Bill Carroll, Katz VP of programming.