ABC Family Picks Up Cable Syndication Rights to 'The Middle'3/06/2012 4:16 PM Eastern
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has sold cable syndication rights of ABC's Wednesday night comedy The Middle to ABC Family, beginning in fall 2013.
WBDTD has also secured deals for the sitcom with TV stations covering more than 92% of the country in the shared syndication window.
The Middle, which airs in ABC's Wednesday night comedy block along with the acclaimed Modern Family, has been acquired by station groups Tribune, Sinclair, CBS, Communications Corp., Raycom, Newport, Belo, Cox, Local TV, New Age Media, Titan, Grant, News Press & Gazette, Barrington, Mission, Venture, LIN, Pappas, Weigel, Acme, and others, according to Ken Werner, president, and Rick Meril, executive vice president/general sales manager of WBDTD.
"We are in a new golden age for sitcoms both on the broadcast networks and syndication," said Werner. "Stations have been the bedrock destination for off net sitcoms for generations and it is part of their heritage and brand. Our station partners recognized in The Middle a compelling player that would energize their sitcom blocks in 2013 and beyond."
"The Middle will set the table for stations," said Meril. "The show has grown in each of its three seasons and jumpstarts ABC's prime at 8 p.m. Most importantly, The Middle repeats like an A-list sitcom. Stations have taken notice and have responded quickly."
The Middle will join ABC's highly rated Modern Family, which is being distributed in syndication by Twentieth Television, in its fall 2013 premiere.
The Middle stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn as Frankie and Mike Heck, two time-starved parents who are struggling to raise three kids. The show was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who serve as executive producers. The Middle is produced by Blackie and Blondie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.