In a largely unprecedented move, ABC and BET have negotiated for the Alphabet network’s breakout hit “Scandal” to air on the cable net in early syndication.
With only a scant 29 episodes produced in the show’s two season run available to repeat, BET will begin airing Seasons One and Two this summer. Additionally, the deal stipulates that original episodes from the series’ upcoming Season 3 will air no sooner than eight days after they run first on ABC.
The Kerry Washington political-fixer drama, which grew into a sorely needed hit for its network in the midst of its Season 2 run, will debut on BET with a marathon starting in August. The cable net will continue to air episodes leading up to the Season 3 premiere on ABC in the fall (date TBA).
“We’re thrilled to be joining forced with ABC in airing this dynamic series,” Debra Lee, Chairman, BET Networks said in a statement. “‘Scandal’ is a cultural phenomenon that has resonated with viewers for the past two seasons and we’re excited to be part of its continued journey.”
Typically, studios wait for their shows to hit a standard 100-episode mark before exploring syndication deals, but early off-net deals are growing in popularity. USA Network snatched up the rights to ABC’s “Modern Family” during its first season in January 2010, while Oxygen secured the rights to “Glee” during that program’s inaugural year, as well. Neither of those deals, however, included such a quick turn around in beginning the off-net run. Both will begin airing in syndication sometime later this year.
“Scandal” is BET’s first syndicated scripted drama purchase. In the past, the network has acquired comedies such as “Moesha” and “Family Matters,” as well as Wendy Williams’ talk show.
Do you think BET is a good fit for “Scandal” reruns?