CBS Announces Multi-Platform Syndication Rollout for 'The Good Wife'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

March 13th, 2013

the good wife

via press release:




Amazon Prime Instant Video Will Lead the Off-Network Launch

With Previous-Season Episodes Available for Streaming March 14


Hulu Plus to Roll Out Previous Seasons of “The Good Wife” in September 2013


Hallmark Channel to Launch the Award-Winning Series on Cable

Beginning in January 2014


Weekend Syndication Run Sold to Stations

Representing 85% of the Country for September 2014


STUDIO CITY, CALIF. (March 13, 2013) – CBS Corporation announced today a unique multi-platform syndication model for its award-winning drama THE GOOD WIFE, windowing the off-network rights for the series with distribution partners across subscription-video-on-demand services, a basic cable network and broadcast television stations.


“This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today’s television ecosystem,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation.  “It uses creative windowing to serve the content needs of best-in-class partners while realizing the full syndication value for a high-quality series. In addition, the potential for catch-up viewing across multiple platforms can provide incremental value to future broadcasts on the CBS Television Network.”


As part of an agreement with, the first three seasons of THE GOOD WIFE will be available on Amazon Prime Instant Video beginning March 14, with season four coming to Prime Instant Video later this year. All Prime Instant Videos are commercial-free and can be viewed at no additional cost by Prime members on Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other devices.


“THE GOOD WIFE has consistently been one of the strongest sellers on Amazon Instant Video, so we know our customers love the show. We are excited to be the first to offer seasons one through three of this great CBS series to Prime members and then later this year, Prime members can enjoy season four,” said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon.


As part of an expanded agreement with Hulu, previous seasons of THE GOOD WIFE will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers in September 2013.  This builds on previously announced licensing agreements between CBS and Hulu for library content and for CBS-produced programming that airs on The CW.  Hulu Plus is available to TV fans on more than 320 million connected tablets, phones, and living room devices for $7.99 per month.


“THE GOOD WIFE is one of the best dramas on network TV and we are thrilled to bring this show – as well as thousands of episodes from 20 other shows in the CBS library – to our Hulu Plus subscribers,” said Andy Forssell, Senior Vice President of Content for Hulu. “CBS has been an important partner to us, and we are proud that our agreement continues to create accretive revenue streams for their premium programming.”


The Hallmark Channel, a brand long recognized for high-quality entertainment, has acquired the off-network rights to present THE GOOD WIFE, the most decorated broadcast television drama, on basic cable. Since its premiere in 2009, the unique drama, which combines a sophisticated legal franchise with family drama, has earned numerous awards including the AFI Award (2012) and the Peabody Award (2011), as well as Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards for lead actress Julianna Margulies.  The series has also received numerous WGA nominations for its writing.  The Hallmark Channel will begin running THE GOOD WIFE on weekdays beginning January 2014.


“With 80 Emmy Awards and dozens of Golden Globes, Hallmark's contributions to television are unparalleled,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.  “Hallmark Channel's audience is very reflective of CBS’s, and as our network enters the arena of creating original, primetime scripted fare, we look to TV programs like THE GOOD WIFE as the type of award-winning, quality series we value and want to emulate,” Abbott concluded.


In addition, THE GOOD WIFE will be available to local television stations for a weekend broadcast syndication window beginning in September 2014.  CBS Television Distribution has sold these rights to the CBS Television Stations as the flagship broadcast group and to stations of all affiliations, currently covering 85% of the country.


“This is a syndication rollout that’s a great match of program with partners,” said Scott Koondel, Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation.  “THE GOOD WIFE episodes have been popular on Amazon’s electronic-sell-through (EST) service, and addictive serialized dramas like this perform very well on Hulu Plus. Meanwhile, the Hallmark brand has always been associated with quality and prestige, and THE GOOD WIFE is one of the most honored, critically acclaimed and talked-about shows on television – and, of course, it’s a series that has always performed well on the CBS-owned stations.”


THE GOOD WIFE, currently in its fourth season, is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions.  Executive producers are Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, David Zucker, Brooke Kennedy, Ted Humphrey, Keith Eisner and Leonard Dick.  Robert King and Michelle King are the creators.


About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand – “the Eye” – one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, outdoor advertising, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’s businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group, CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Films and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to


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  • Leverage-Fan

    Over two million from TNT alone? Warner should have an interest in the future of “The Mentalist”!

  • Justin121

    So much for The Good Wife being a bubble show.

    I knew it.

    Happy for Good Wife and Good Television fans everywhere.

    Season 7 here we come!

  • eridapo

    @ Holly

    Isn’t TNT is part of Time Warner, if so the TNT deal is not really generating additional moneys to Time Warner’s bottom line (unless you include the ad revenue for TNT)

  • Dan

    @Eridapo – Those deals rarely work out but

    If CBS would have to choose between Good Wife and Mentalist then its Good Wife all the way.

    @Bill – Looks like you have a headline for next week “Will a syndication deal finally give The Good Wife a chance?”

  • Bill Gorman

    “@Bill – Looks like you have a headline for next week “Will a syndication deal finally give The Good Wife a chance?””

    Every new headline possibility is a welcome gift!

  • Alex

    Its certainly interesting that they’ve announced streaming deals alongside the more traditional models of syndication and that more than anything else is what makes me think that CBS has all but green lit a fifth season. The only real reason at this point to push ahead with almost immediate streaming of all seasons on Amazon and Hulu is that new viewers will ‘binge stream’ the series and boost the shows audience on CBS. Given that The Good Wife wraps at the end of April the only way to really test that theory is with a fifth season.

    In general though this combined approach seems to be a strong model for syndicating little watched shows going forward. Deadline is reporting that combined the license fees for The Good Wife syndication deals come in at around $2 million. That would suggest that individually none of these companies paid particularly big sums for the rights but in total its worked out as a pretty decent revenue stream.

  • Reache


    Now I’m confused…
    Bill, In syndication world, more episodes means more money. right?
    Why is this news irrelent TGW’s renewal?

  • Reache


  • David Howell


    Because Amazon/Hulu/Hallmark will now effectively subsidise S5 by way of it producing more content for them to buy.

    CSI NY is now bearchow, that much can no longer be in reasonable doubt. TGW probably favored over Mentalist, but WB will subsidise the latter for syndie dollars too let’s not forget. I do expect one of them to go though, because CBS wouldn’t be piloting a squinty jillion singlecam sitcoms if they weren’t expanding sitcom time. The only way they could both be saved is probably Survivor timesharing with TAR (which wouldn’t be a bad move, given two-cycle-a-year reality burnout, but I don’t see it happening!). The Wednesday 8pm hour would likely then be used for what I see as a very probable singlecam block (Crazy Ones / Super Clyde?), and then it’s as you were with three new dramas get to replace Vegas, Golden Boy, and CSI NY (presumably with one of TGW and Mentalist moving to Friday).

    If CBS expand sitcom time and don’t timeshare reality – and that’s what I’d expect – TGW or Mentalist goes.

  • The 47th

    How does this increase renewal chances? They already got the syndication deal, there’s nothing more they can do.

    I understand this means more profit for the network, but it hardly puts it in a better position than any other previously syndicated show.

  • Holly


    Call me cynical, but I’d say the reason is they announced them together is to make the numbers look better for the deal. With Hulu and Amazon they can say “close to 2 million” instead of “around 1.5 million”

  • Alex

    Bill, In syndication world, more episodes means more money. right?

    I’m not Bill but…

    Yes producing new episodes means you make more money from syndication (assuming that the show is successful in syndication and continues over the long term etc. etc.) but producing new episodes also costs money. Syndication isn’t a magic cure all if the cost of producing new episodes is greater than the cost of selling those episodes into syndication because the production company still loses money.

    As a quick example lets say the following is true.

    The Good Wife
    Per episode production cost – $3.5 million
    Syndication revenue per episode – $2 million

    That’s a short fall of $1.5 million that has to be made up somewhere. If CBS is willing to cover that then great. If however CBS isn’t willing to cover all of that then not so great. So if CBS pay $1 million per episode that leaves $500k short fall to be made up somewhere along the line.

    And that’s a slightly over simplistic way of looking at it because it doesn’t take into account back end payments for cast and crew etc. that would need to be factored into the economics of it.

  • Alex

    I’d agree with that line of thinking as well.

    At some point though the networks are going to have to start testing the value of streaming options and The Good Wife seems like as good a candidate as any other to see what happens. I think a shortened fifth season order (that also pushes them above 100 episodes) to work out whether having the entire series available to stream on sites like Amazon and Hulu can have any noticeable effect on ratings is worth a shot.

    For me the streaming deals are infinitely more interesting than the straight syndication deals. At this point I don’t see much point in chasing those unless there’s at least some interest in a fifth season. As you say financially they aren’t really that valuable and I don’t imagine there’s a huge section of The Good Wife audience (or the CBS audience in general) crying out for streaming options. But maybe that’s unfair.

  • PurpleDrazi

    Maybe I’m off base here but this is how I see it:

    The Good Wife had low ratings so CBS was not making a lot of money. They kept it on the air anyway in hopes of reaching syndication to recoup some of the loss. Now that they got their money (and it’s not THAT much money) why would they want to keep the low rated show on the air?

    Help me out here. What am I missing (other than knowledge of the actual cost to make the show?)

  • Joel

    Seems like this guarantees a fifth and final season . This show just is to good to cancel even if the ratings are bad. Five seasons and that should be a wrap.

  • DenverDean

    In addition, AMC’s CSI:M deal mentioned future episodes produced from 2012-13 season – obviously that wasn’t enough for CBS to renew. (Clearly, THAT was a mistake based on MIJ, Vegas, GB.) CBS should keep that in mind if one slot is left and it’s between TM and CSI:NY.

    TGW – the ratings still stink and there is low repeat value, just like ABC serialized dramas. At least there is some hope for TGW fans, but a lot will depend on the next few airing.

  • Bill Gorman

    “Why is this news irrelent TGW’s renewal?”

    Where did I write it was irrelevant?

    It’s definitely not irrelevant. Sadly, with the terms of the deal unknown, it’s impossible for us to know for sure whether it is positive or negative for another season for the show.

    Given no information, but forced to guess, past evidence suggests to me that it’s a positive indicator for another season.

  • fringegot5seasons

    How lame. TGW should be moved to Friday though, it’s been on Sunday long enough tanking the 10pm show. CBS Sundays are a wreck because they have a cratering never-was-popular show in the middle of their lineup and their reality shows are aging swiftly. Send it to Friday and rebuild Sunday.

  • Mia

    Bleh. At the end all CBS shows end with a syndication deal if they reach a 4th season. But all will be canceled at one point. Probaly when they find a cheaper show to produce . So until the 4th season all are safe, after that the cheaper to produce , and the ones with better ratings survive longer.

  • Reache

    @Bill & Alex,
    Thanks for answering my (biased-sorry!) questions:) That’s very helpful.

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