12:32pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Syndication News: 'Community' to Comedy Central, 'Middle' to Hallmark, 'Family Feud' to GSN
Comedy Central has good news for Greendale fans.
The cable network has picked up syndication rights to NBC's Dan Harmon cult comedy Community, the network announced Wednesday, inking a multiyear deal with the studio behind the Joel McHale-starrer, Sony Pictures Television.
"Within the chaos of the current media landscape, we are fortunate that we live in a timeline where Community comes to Comedy Central," said Comedy Central exec vp program strategy and multiplatform programming David Bernath. "Our staff is celebrating with a game of paintball in the offices today."
The series, which returns Thursday to NBC after being left off its midseason schedule, will launch repeats of the first three seasons of the series beginning in the fall of 2013.
Despite critical praise and a dedicated following, Community has been a ratings underwhelmer for NBC.
Elsewhere in syndication news, Hallmark Channel has acquired off-network rights to ABC's Patricia Heaton comedy The Middle. The net will begin airing the first of 88 episodes beginning in March 2014, with additional seasons joining the rotation as they become available.
"The Middle is a highly rated, first-run, off-network family comedy that compliments and diversifies the dynamic comedy block we currently have on our air,” said Michelle Vicary, executive vp programming at Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.
The Hallmark pickup comes less than two weeks after ABC Family picked up rights to the Warner Bros. Television comedy with plans to begin airing syndicated episodes in the fall of 2013 and after its conservative star, Heaton, has been vocal about her stance on birth control.
In addition, GSN has picked up cable rights to the Steve Harvey-hosted seasons of Family Feud, landing more than 300 episodes of the game show, setting a March 28 premiere. The series joins syndicated repeats of Dancing With the Stars at the network.