The popular sitcom “Modern Family” is picking up some new real estate — while keeping its other homes.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s TBS cable network will start showing a three-hour block of the landmark comedy, which ran on ABC for 11 seasons between 2009 and 2020. Beginning Monday, September 25, “Modern Family” will run between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays as part of an effort by the large cable outlet to reinforce its comedy leanings. Those hours have been occupied in the recent past by episodes of “Friends” and “Young Sheldon,” both of which will continue to run on the network. On Monday, TBS began running longer daily marathons of “The Big Bang Theory,” the popular sitcom.
“Our audience continually seeks out popular comedies like ‘Friends,’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Modern Family,’ so now that we have all three of these iconic series on TBS, we can build an even bigger, more engaged audience,” said Julie Taylor, chief of content, strategy and insights for Warner Bros. Discovery’s US Networks Group, in a prepared statement. “We have the best in class content that drives an audience from daytime through primetime and we do that by leveraging our fans’ affinity for comedies and by creating daily destination.”
“Modern Family” is expected to continue running in other venues where it has been found. NBCUniversal’s cable networks and Peacock and Disney’s Hulu also have rights to run the series, and will continue to enjoy them, according to people familiar with the matter. NBCU had exclusive rights to cable distribution of the series for the first few years of its deal, one of these people said, but Warner Bros. Discovery had the right to seek out other cable networks after a certain amount of time elapsed.
TBS is one of Warner’s biggest cable properties, but, like many TV networks, is facing economic headwinds due to consumers’ migration to streaming video. The network is projected to see subscribers fall to 73.1 million in 2023, according to Kagan, a market-research unit of S&P Global Intelligence, compared to estimates of 77.5 million for 2022. Ad sales are seen dropping to $795.2 million in 2023, according to Kagan, compared with approximately $831 million in 2022.
TBS, one of the first big properties of Ted Turner’s media empire before it was acquired by Time Warner in the late 1990s, launched in 1976 as a pay-TV offering, and has its roots in a TV station that went on the air in Atlanta in 1967. Once known for offering Atlanta Braves baseball games and World Class Championship professional wrestling, TBS is better known for showing comedy, though less of it is original and more of it is acquired.
“Modern Family” focuses on three generations of a family, and offers different permutations of what a typical clan looks like. The series was considered a hit soon after its debut, and won notice for its portrayal of same-sex unions and blended families. “Modern Family” was produced by 20th Television in association with Steven Levitan Productions and Picador Productions. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd were co-creators/executive producers. The series, which won 22 Emmys, including five for Outstanding Comedy Series, is distributed by Disney Entertainment.
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