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Seven months after syndication giant Debmar-Mercury and producer Tornante Company took four seasons of the animated Netflix comedy out to market, Comedy Central has acquired the library. The Viacom-owned cable network will launch the freshman run of the series from creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg on Sept. 26 following the season 22 premiere of fellow animated entry South Park.
The sale, the first of its kind, helps further monetize BoJack Horseman amid a climate when many creators have decried Netflix’s lack of backend, which has historically been how top producers get paid for programming. It arrives as the traditional syndication business has been upended as viewers continue to flock to streaming.
All told, Comedy Central has acquired the first five seasons of the critical darling and will also stream select episodes on its website and app. Season five of the animated series, featuring a voice cast of Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie and Aaron Paul, will return Sept. 14 on Netflix. (It’s unclear if subsequent seasons are included in the Comedy Central deal.)
BoJack Horseman becomes the first Netflix original to sell in syndication and second show overall from a streamer. (Sundance TV previously had off-network rights to Amazon’s Transparent, though that was not a library deal.)
“BoJack Horseman has been a groundbreaking show, defining the best in adult animated comedy just as South Park was before it,” Tornante Company founder Michael Eisner said Thursday in a statement. “It is very fitting that the two shows will air back-to-back on Comedy Central.”
The BoJack Horseman news comes days after Comedy Central secured syndicated repeats to four seasons of Seth MacFarlane’s The Cleveland Show and 13 seasons of Mike Judge’s King of the Hill as the Viacom cabler looks to repeats to help bring in eyeballs.
Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury and Viacom Program Acquisitions Group negotiated the BoJack Horseman deal.
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