The shows came back into the marketplace six weeks ago after having long since completed their cash cycles in rerun syndication.
Sony cleared them so quickly because it correctly sensed that many stations would jump at them; distributors have produced only four new strips for the 2005-06 season as replacements for the large number that have already received pinkslips or will in the next month or two.
“Nanny” and “Mad About You” will fill some of these gaps on WPIX New York, WCIU Chicago and other stations in 12 of the top 20 markets that have signed the deal with Sony.
License fees cut
Sony made the deal station-friendly by eliminating any cash license fees and asking stations to set aside only three commercial minutes in each half-hour for the distributor instead of the usual 3½ minutes. The stations, in turn, get four minutes an episode to sell locally.
One drawback: Exclusivity for “Nanny” and “Mad” extends only to TV syndication, forcing the stations to share the comedies with Lifetime, which continues to have cable exclusivity. Lifetime now runs “Mad” every morning at 8. But apparently cable and satellite viewers can’t get enough of “The Nanny”: Lifetime strips it every morning at 9:30, 10:30 and 11; every evening at 5 and 5:30; and latenight at 12 and 12:30.