ABC Family buys WB rights package

ABC Family has bought exclusive cable rights to “Everwood” — the highlight of a series and movie package from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution worth $35 million-$40 million.

Studio and network execs declined to comment on prices, but sources peg the per-episode fee for “Everwood” at $350,000. Pact is for 89 episodes comprising three existing seasons and the yet-to-bow fourth in addition to options for future cycles.

Cabler has picked up 21 theatrical titles, including the first network windows for coming-of-age-drama “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and Nick Cannon starrer “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Other pics in the deal include “The American President,” “City of Angels,” “Practical Magic” and “Scooby-Doo.”

“Everwood” will begin airing next fall. Skein joins ABC Family’s off-net lineup of WB drama alumni “7th Heaven,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Smallville.” Latter two became big draws in adults 18-34, airing at 5 and 7 p.m., respectively.

ABC Family senior VP of programming acquisitions and scheduling Tom Zappala said he would likely twin “Everwood” with “Smallville” or one of the cabler’s original hours.

“This show has all the elements of both our off-net and original dramas. It’s a coming-of-age story that revolves around familial relationships, and it’s been a critical darling for years,” Zappala said.

As for the network’s debut original dramas, “Wildfire” has been renewed for a second cycle, while a decision on another batch of “Beautiful People” is pending.

ABC Family last inked a megadeal with Warner Bros. in March 2004, when it spent a reported $100 million on reruns for “Smallville,” “Jamie Kennedy” and up to 100 theatrical movies.

Deal was negotiated by Zappala and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution’s Gus Lucas.

“Everwood” comes from creator Greg Berlanti (“Jack & Bobby”), who exec produces with Mickey Liddell and Rina Mimoun.

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