Cable Syndication Deal Nearly Done

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Oxygen and Turner Broadcasting are closing in on shared cable rights to Grey's Anatomy, Reuters reported earlier today.

The Grey's Anatomy Cast
Although negotiations are continuing this week, indications are that Oxygen and Turner's TNT will end up splitting Grey's. Buena Vista Television will hand over off-net rights to Oxygen for the post-6 p.m. window, while TNT will get off-net daytime rights.

Oxygen will also get another window, starting earlier than the off-net rights, giving the channel a weekly repeat of an episode from past seasons.

The sale will conclude one of the most anticipated and complicated cable syndication deals of recent memory, shutting out unsuccessful efforts to obtain rights by both Lifetime and ABC Family. Sources say Buena Vista accepted bids more than a month ago, but negotiations were enlongated by the relatively new and touchy issue of assigning rights to digital platforms.

Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution recently cut a precedent-setting deal with that gave selected stations the ability to stream episodes on their respective websites. Buena Vista has yet to sell Grey's to local stations, and details of the deal still are coming together. But Oxygen is not wasting any time, and is expected to start airing repeat episodes from Seasons 1-2 as early as this January.

For Oxygen, snaring the show would be a huge but expensive score, amounting to what might be the biggest syndication deal in the channel's history. The network typically ends up as an also-ran when vying for highly coveted off-network product, but a hunky cast, soap-like plots and medical drama made Grey's the perfect fit for the female-targeted network.

At TNT, Grey's Anatomy likely would join a stacked daytime lineup already featuring ER, Charmed and Law & Order.

The price estimates for the show, which garnered 20 million viewers per episode by the end of last season and secured 11 Emmy nominations? Just around $1 million per episode. Oxygen is believed to be doling out about $700,000 per episode and Turner picking up the rest of these steep medical bills. Hopefully they have insurance!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


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too bad Lifetime didn't get GA, since they got DH & those reruns start soon

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Derek: I wanna be with you forever, and you wanna be with me forever. In order to do that we need to make vows. A commitment. A contract. Give me a piece of paper.
Meredith: I don't! I... I... I don't. I have post its!
Derek: (takes the post its and a pen) Ok. What do we wanna promise each other?
Meredith: That you'll love me... even when you hate me.
Derek: To love each other, even when we hate each other. (writes it down) No running. Ever! (Mer smiles and comes and sits in front of him) Nobody walks out. No matter what happens.
Meredith: No running.
Derek: (writes it down) What else?
Meredith: That we'll take care of each other, even when we're old, and smelly, and senile. And... if I get Alzheimer's and forget you...
Derek: I will remind you who I am, every day. To take care when old, senile, and smelly (writes it down) This is forever. (signs it) Sign.
Meredith: This is our wedding. A post it? (smiles)
Derek: Mhmmm. If you sign it.
Meredith: (signs it, and hands it back. Has tears in her eyes) Now what?
Derek: Now I kiss the bride. (They kiss)
Meredith: (smiling) Married.
Derek: (smiling) Married. (sticks their post it in Mer's locker) You see that? (Mer nods and smiles) Plenty of time.