In an unusual deal, Lifetime Television has acquired the
exclusive rights to air Caroline in the City after its first cycle of syndication
on TV stations and WGN, officials said last week.
Lifetime will hold exclusive rights from Eyemark
Entertainment for the second cycle of Caroline for four years after the series
finishes its run in local syndication.
Lifetime, which reportedly paid about $300,000 per episode
for Caroline, plans to strip the show Monday through Friday starting in September
2002. Eyemark, which is distributing Caroline, is part of CBS Inc.
WGN announced July 10 that it had purchased, and was
sharing with TV stations, the first cycle of off-network rights for Caroline,
starting in September 1999. Like Lifetime, WGN plans to air Caroline -- an NBC
series that features Lea Thompson as a Manhattan cartoonist -- five nights per week.
The Caroline deal is similar to the situation that
both WGN and Lifetime were in with Suddenly Susan, another NBC sitcom, which stars
Brooke Shields. In the case of both shows, WGN will share its window with local TV
stations. When that window is finished, Lifetime will get its window for the shows,
although it will have to share the window for Susan with TV stations.
Lifetime president Doug McCormick argued that Lifetime is
actually getting exclusive rights to Caroline early, "in the midst of its
first cycle ... and it's certainly preferred to have it exclusively."
As for Caroline'sfit with his network,
McCormick said, "We've had a tremendous degree of success with sitcoms on
In other news on the syndication front, basic cable is
being offered the second cycle for the sitcom Cheers, according to sources.