‘House’ on market

UPN sitcom gets off-net deals in key cities

“In the House” is moving closer to being in the black as Warner Bros. locks up its first off-network sales for the UPN sitcom in key major markets.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has sold the show to UPN O&Os WWOR New York, KCOP Los Angeles and KPTV Portland, in addition to UPN affils WPWR Chicago, KTXA Dallas, KSTW Seattle, and Fox affil WFLX West Palm Beach. The urban-oriented comedy starring rapper LL Cool J bows in syndication in fall 1999.

Financial terms of the deals weren’t disclosed, but industry observers estimate the show is on track to generate about $500,000 to $600,000 total in cash license fees when sales in the rest of the country are complete. That would put “In the House” on par with the recent off-net deals for sitcoms of its ilk, including Paramount’s “Sister, Sister” and Worldvision’s “Moesha.”

“In the House” is likely to have a cable play on TBS beginning in the third or fourth year of its broadcast syndication license term, as has been the case with most of Warner Bros.’ recent off-net fare, although a WBDTD spokesman declined to comment.

“In the House,” produced by Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment in association with NBC Studios, debuted on NBC in April 1995 before moving to UPN in August 1996. LL Cool J plays an injured ex-football star who teams up with his physical therapist (played by Kim Wayans) and his materialistic doctor (Alfonso Ribeiro) to buy a sports clinic.

During the past season, “In the House” averaged a 3.2 national Nielsen household rating and 5 share. With its target audience of adults 18-34, the show averaged a 2.2.

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