Co-creator/exec producer may sell repeats to BET

Showtime has renewed its sitcom “Rude Awakenings” for a third season and cancelled its other half-hour comedy “Linc’s.”

As previously reported (Daily Variety, Feb. 10), Showtime has picked up its satirical drama “Beggars & Choosers” for a full second season of 22 hours.

About “Linc’s,” the cancelled series, Tim Reid, the show’s co-creator and co-executive producer, says, “I’m hurt. The show didn’t get the respect and support that it deserved.” Viacom Prods., a sister company of Showtime, and Tim Reid Prods. ended up filming a total of 35 half-hour episodes of “Linc’s,” which is set in a bar-and-grill in Washington, D.C., where the regulars hold forth on sex, politics and race.

Reid said he and the staff “worked hard to keep the budget down to what I think was a lower cost than any other primetime comedy series on the air.”

For the first year, Reid says, he shot the series in Petersburg, Va., at his New Millennium Studios, for $490,000 an episode. For its second season, Reid moved the production to Paramount, another sister company of Showtime, where the budget went up to $520,000 a half-hour. The average cost of a network-primetime sitcom is about $800,000 an episode.

Since TV stations have no interest in buying reruns of a sitcom with only 35 episodes, Reid says he’ll probably end up selling the repeats to BET for a bargain-basement price.

“Rude Awakenings,” from Mandalay TV and Columbia TriStar TV Distribution, is getting a commitment from Showtime of at least another 13 half-hours. Starring Sherilyn Fenn as a tart-tongued recovering alcoholic, “Rude Awakenings” boasts five executive producers: Claudia Lonow, Joe Voci, Scott Sanders, Peter Guber and Andrea Abbate.

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