'BoJack Horseman' Catalog Being Shopped to Cable

Can the cartoon find an off-Netflix audience? Syndication giant Debmar-Mercury will find out.
Courtesy of Netflix
'BoJack Horseman'

BoJack Horseman could soon be even easier to watch. In a move that may appear counterintuitive in the 2018 TV climate, its Netflix library is being shopped for off-net syndication on traditional basic cable.

Syndication specialists Debmar-Mercury announced the plans Tuesday, teaming with producer The Tornante Company to pitch buyers on the four-season library — one it is betting will defy the recent trend of sitcoms getting a lackluster second life on linear TV as more and more channel-surfers turn to streaming.

“In an era when addictive, laugh-out-loud comedies are in short supply, BoJack Horseman delivers what cable networks have been missing,” Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of the Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury, said in a statement. “Not only do we love the show but we think this horse-man can finally buck the trend in comedy, providing a strong alternative to conventional sitcoms.”

Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and greeted by rapturous reviews, the Netflix original has been a critical favorite since its 2014 premiere. It counts Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins and Aaron Paul as its primary voice talent. The fifth season will premiere on Netflix later this year.

Should BoJack Horseman score a second life on cable, it would not be a first for a streaming series. (Amazon sold off-net rights to Transparent to Sundance last year.) But, depending on where it lands, it could be a more high-profile move — the results of which could signal potential (or caution) to other series.

“I’m very proud of BoJack Horseman," added Tornante's Michael Eisner. "Who knew a washed-up sitcom star, who happens to be a horse, would drive the best reviews of any television show or movie in which I have been involved in my career? This business is all about who you work with creatively. Thank goodness Raphael Bob-Waksberg walked through my door.”