Lionsgate TV’s Impossible Success Story – Deadline

Since the death of indie powerhouse Karsi-Warner, there has been no studio focusing on the broadcast comedy series. Surprisingly, another indie, Lionsgate Television, found himself carrying a CW mantle. In a difficult economic environment, Lionsgate was able to go 3-for-3 with its existing broadcast series – CBS. GhostsOf ABC Domestic economy And Fox’s Welcome to Flatch – All of which have been renewed for next season. These are all single-camera comedies – a genre whose financial aspects have become partially challenging under the increasingly fragile broadcast model – and this number, three, matches the lion’s share of Fox’s entire previous broadcast on Lionsgate. Running Wild, Of ABC Nashville And NBC’s Zoey’s awesome playlist.

Pickups have limited an impressive stream of 16 renewals to 15 shows, and there has been no cancellation for the Lionsgate series across various platforms starting in July 2021. And while Lionsgate just missed a quarterly earnings, the company’s TV production unit increased revenue by 75.7% to $ 370.2 million, an increase of 263.7% over the previous quarter to $ 33.1 million.

‘Ghosts’ on CBS Upfront
Rosie Cordero / Deadline

The Lionsgate TV broadcast slate is powered by one of the biggest half-hour hits on television, Ghosts, The most-watched new comedy of the season and the second most-watched comedy series overall. The success of the show, which continues to grow throughout his new race, was so great that CBS showed it up front by staging a wide number of musicals with the cast. This helped Lionsgate score a rich SVOD library deal for the show with Paramount +.

When Ghosts Has been a fugitive hit, earning an initial renewal in February, Domestic economy When there were moderate bubbles Welcome to Flatch There was heavy on the fence for renovation. In addition to these two pickup-earning shows, NBC is finalizing a pilot order for a multi-camera Lionsgate TV comedy from Mike O’Malley, John Crayer discussing with the stars, giving the studio a green illuminated comedy project in four major broadcasts Network

Renewals have come amid some tough discussions between broadcast networks and studios over budget, which we have seen increased by 20-25% of Covid-related extra costs, which is hard to exploit because the broadcast model is so stable. Revenue shows can generate such terms. There has been pressure across the industry to rein in TV series budgets, which have become balloons over the past few years, with single-camera comedy being one of the genres where cost-effective production efforts were most profound.

So how come there is a studio like Lionsgate, which produced only one broadcast comedy series before the current trio, 2010 Fox Show Running Wild Will the comedy genre become a force to be reckoned with, with as many or more comedies in the fall schedule as the largest network-affiliated studios, starring Will Arnett and Kerry Russell? And how the studio was able to achieve a 100% renewal rate in the most difficult progress environments, especially for outside providers, which saw amazing cancellations of shows Magnum PI And Pivoting?

Some of it was just good ol ‘hosting which small companies have to do to get ahead and compete with big competitors. No one will comment on this story but I have heard that Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs and Lionsgate TV CO Sandra Stern have worked and worked with the entire senior management of the company, starting with Lionsgate CEO John Feltheimer. Phones In the last days of Fox Pickup, I heard that network executives had about 10 conversations a day at different levels, looking for ways to secure renewals.

For Welcome to Flatch, Executive producer Paul Fig is also reported to have been involved in a Season 2 casting pitch, among other creative ideas. For Domestic economy, There was a wide deck that was presented to ABC. In addition, for Ghosts And Welcome to Flach, Based on the British format through a BBC Studio partnership in Lionsgate, Matt Ford of BBC Studios spoke with US networks where the original series went creatively, providing a roadmap for adaptation.

In addition to rushing to agree on a co-production with the network’s in-house studios and granting the networks full in-season stacking rights, which has become standard nowadays, there is also a unique contract framework that helped Lionsgate get its broadcast on the Air series and keep them there. , I hear. (Season Stacking allows networks to keep all episodes of a series from the current season on their streaming platform.)

“Every deal with Lionsgate is hand-drawn,” said a network source. “They are wealthy, very flexible and great partners.”

One of the approaches to the studio’s recent journey to broadcast TV is the approach the company made a few years ago around the idea that a broadcast network is no longer the center of the media companies’ universe where there are streaming platforms besides TV stations and, in most cases, just networks, I hear.

With that in mind – and perhaps Lionsgate does not own a typical entertainment streaming platform (it owns Starz and its SVOD services) – I have heard that Lionsgate offers broadcast network platform flexibility in exchange for a high license fee. It allows a network, when it buys a show from Lionsgate, to put it on any linear or digital platform in the US without the studio’s permission (or licensing it on an external streaming platform), I hear. This includes the SVOD library for an extended period of time at a reasonable price in the United States, guaranteeing the network’s guardian that it does not have to bid for SVOD rights in the open market.

I heard that Disney has made such a deal with Lionsgate Domestic economy, Which gives the company US streaming rights to Sophomore Comedy, where the two companies split syndication. The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes of Disney Streamer Hulu.

I heard that a similar deal was offered for CBS Ghosts And rejected it, opting for a traditional broadcast licensing agreement (with Season 1 in-season stacking rights on Paramount +). Somewhat surprisingly — e.g. Ghosts An off-beat single-camera comedy without big stars – it’s a breakout hit. Perhaps looking for an avoidance Yellowstone-Style Debacle, where a highly successful series on the Paramount linear network is streaming exclusively on a non-Paramount streaming platform (Picco), Paramount + recently announced that it has acquired SVOD rights. Ghosts What I heard from Lionsgate was a competitive bidding that led to a prosperous deal. These are the rights under Paramount Streamer’s original proposed contract, which comes with significantly higher licensing fees, although the markup would ultimately be lower than the SVOD market value. Bid for Paramount GhostsThe SVOD rights came after analyzing the season 1 streaming performance of the company show from the in-season stack.

Meanwhile, when it was seen that Fox, which I heard that the combined multi-platform took right Welcome to FlatchWhile its AVOD platform will not be able to fully monetize the series on Tubi, I have heard that Lionsgate has offered to take back those rights to the studio the way they sold it. Ghosts. I’ve heard that the addition of the original contract reduced the payoff for Fox Show and nevertheless helped make Season 2 renewals possible. Welcome to Flach ‘s humble linear rating performance.

Also helpful were the medium cost of the comedy, featuring up-and-coming actors and Shawn William Scott. It’s called the low-budget single-camera comedy (about $ 2- 2 2.2 million an episode) and the regular-budget one ($ 2.5-3.5 million an episode). Fox’s other new single camera comedy, Pivoting, From Warner Bros. TV, there was the big-name star and a big price tag, which was in the middle of an episode range of $ 2.5 million – $ 3.5 million. Attempts to bring down the budget significantly have failed. Meanwhile, Fox is finalizing a series order from WBTV for a low-cost single-camera comedy, Cindy SnowAn episode of which is expected to cost around $ 2.2 million.

Although the budget talks were brutal this year, I heard there was no budget cut in the renewed Lionsgate series. Instead of negotiations, the focus has been on reducing built-in budget growth, which studios and networks have agreed on.

Budgets are an issue everywhere in the challenging economy of the TV business, including premium cable and streaming, even when it’s a sister network like Lionsgate-owned Starz. This created a series of 16 consecutive renewals for Lionsgate TV, including such shows. Mythological quest, Apple TV + has renewed for two seasons, and Julia HBO Maxi, more impressive. (You can see a complete list below.)

For broadcast, although it has become an accidental broadcast comedy powerhouse, Lionsgate is also said to be open to drama series, and several of these are in development.

Welcome to Flatch S2 (Fox) – 6 Hours Comedy (Pickup 5/14/22)
Domestic economy S3 (ABC) – 6 Hours Comedy (Pickup 5/14/22)
Power Book III: Raising Paradise S3 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 5/10/22)
Power Book IV: Ball S2 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 5/9/22)
Mix S2 (HBO Max) – 6 Hour Drama (Series Order 5/5/22)
Julia S2 (HBO Max) – 1 Hour Drama (Series Order 5/4/22)
Hightown S3 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 1/31/22)
Acapulco S2 (Apple) – 6 Hour Drama (Pickup 1/28/22)
Ghosts S2 (CBS) – 6 Hours Comedy (Pickup 1/25/22)
Power Book II: Ghost S3 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 12/7/21)
Hill S2 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 11/03/21)
Mythical Quest S3 and S4 (Apple) 8 Hour Comedy (Pickup 10/21/21)
BMF S2 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 9/30/21)
Blindspotting S2 (Starz) – 6 Hours Comedy (Pickup 9/24/21)
Run the world S2 (Starz) – 6 Hours Comedy (Pickup 8/23/21)
Power Book III: Raising Paradise S2 (Starz) – 1 Hour Drama (Pickup 7/12/21)

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