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‘The Goldbergs’ Scores Tribune, Sony Syndication Pact

Tribune Broadcasting stations in 18 major markets have set a deal with Sony Pictures TV for rerun rights to the ABC domestic comedy “The Goldbergs” starting in fall 2017.

The deal cements “Goldbergs” status as the prime syndication-friendly comedy available to broadcast TV stations in the next few years. The drought in broad-appeal sitcoms coming off the broadcast networks has alarmed TV station managers, many of which rely on sitcom reruns as tentpoles of their late afternoon, early evening and late-night schedules.

Tribune stations taking “Goldbergs” include its outlets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Houston. All told the deal covers nearly 37% of U.S. TV households.

“ ‘The Goldbergs’ is a stand-out comedy with all-family appeal, growing ratings and buzz-worthy storytelling, making it a great fit for our stations,” said Sean Compton, Tribune’s president of strategic programming and acquisitions.

John Weiser, president of distribution for Sony Pictures TV, cited the show’s three consecutive seasons of ratings growth in primetime as a good sign of a healthy afterlife in reruns.

“Goldberg” reruns have already been made available for streaming on Hulu through a deal set last September. That makes the show a test case for sitcoms with the potential to juggle both a streaming and traditional broadcast syndication window.

The Hulu exposure likely cut down on the price Tribune was willing to pay to land the show, yet the scarcity of available sitcoms surely worked in Sony’s favor.

“It is poised for a long run on ABC and in syndication,” Weiser said.

“Goldbergs” is heading into its fourth season on ABC this fall. The series, created and exec produced by Adam F. Goldberg, is set in the 1980s and revolves around the coming of age story of a boy in a boisterous family. Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia and George Segal star.

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