NEW YORK — Buena Vista TV has quietly cleared reruns of its four-year-old sitcom “Scrubs” to TV stations in more than 50% of the country, including outlets in 18 of the top 20 markets.
“Scrubs” won’t be available to the stations until fall 2006 even though it has accumulated 90 episodes through May, more than enough for a September 2005 start.
But Buena Vista, responding to TV-station demand, sold two other off-network sitcoms ahead of “Scrubs”: “My Wife and Kids,” which kicks off in September, and “According to Jim,” for a fall 2006 start.
The marketplace responded so well to “Kids” and “Jim” that Buena Vista was able to score solid cash license fees from stations. Stations were not as gung-ho for “Scrubs,” so they won’t pay any cash for it, instead giving Buena Vista three minutes for national sale within each half-hour play of the series. (Stations get to keep the four other commercial minutes in each episode.)
NBC has renewed “Scrubs” for a fifth 22-episode season, but the network has removed the show from its 2005-06 primetime schedule, holding it for later in the season.
Among the stations agreeing to take “Scrubs” are WNYW/WWOR New York, KCAL Los Angeles, WFLD/WPWR Chicago, WPHL Philadelphia, WLVI Boston, KTVU/KICU San Francisco, KDFW/KDFI Dallas and WTTG/WDCA Washington.