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‘Blackish’ Secures Off-Network Cable Deals at BET and FX

Variety logo Variety 4/18/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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Black-ish” is expanding its TV footprint, securing off-network syndication deals at both BET Networks and FX Networks.

Disney-ABC has also completed broadcast syndication sales for the sitcom, which has been cleared in more than 90% of the country with Tribune Broadcasting as the core station group for its launch in fall 2018 when the award-winning comedy also begins airing on FX and BET.

The rich sales deals come as the broadcast networks are making decisions for their bubble shows. Though “Black-ish” is a shoo-in for a fourth season with critical praise, steady numbers and a slew of high-profile awards and nominations, the syndication news essentially confirms its renewal for Season 4. A spinoff for “Black-ish” is also in the works, and is expected to air as a backdoor pilot this season.

Earlier this year, “Black-ish” also landed an SVOD deal to stream its first two seasons on Hulu.

“We’re excited to partner with Disney/ABC in bringing this bold and beloved series to our audience,” said Debra Lee, chairman & CEO of BET Networks. “‘Black-ish’ has an incredible track record of crossing cultural lines and reflecting the universality of African-American life.  We’re thrilled to be part of its continued journey.”

According to Deadline, who first broke news of the cable deals, BET was first to nab the “Black-ish” rights for a license fee of more than $500,000 per episode, while FX Networks then came in for the shared window of around $300,000 per episode. It remains to be seen whether “Black-ish” will air on FX or FXX, which is focused on comedy.

“Black-ish” stars Anthony Anderson and Golden Globe winner Tracee Ellis Ross. The family sitcom follows Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anderson) and his physician wife, Rainbow (Ross), who are living the American dream: great careers, four beautiful kids, and a home in an upper middle class neighborhood. With a little help from Pops (Laurence Fishburne) and Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. Kenya Barris created the series and executive producers with Anderson, Fishburne,  Jonathan Groff, Helen Sugland, E. Brian Dobbins and Corey Nickerson. ABC Studios produces.

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