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CBS' 'The Good Wife' Sold in Multiplatform Deal

Hallmark Channel, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Broadcast TV stations Acquire Show with Staggered Premiere Dates 3/13/2013 8:29 AM Eastern

CBS Corp. has sold its drama, The Good Wife, in a multi-platform deal that includes a basic-cable network,  subscription video on demand services 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 Corp. in a statement. "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."

On basic cable, The Hallmark Channel acquired the show to air on weekdays starting January 2014.

"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," said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.

The first three seasons of The Good Wife will premiere on Amazon Prime Instant Video on Thursday (March 14). The show currently is in season four on CBS, where it airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. Season four will premiere on Amazon later this year.

"The Good Wife consistently has been one of the strongest sellers on Amazon Instant Video, so we know our customers love the show," said Brad Beale, Amazon's director of digital video content acquisition, in a statement.

The show's first four seasons also will premiere on Hulu Plus this fall, when season five is expected to debut on CBS. Prior to this, CBS has only distributed library content and CBS-produced programs that air on The CW to Hulu.

"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, Hulu's senior vice president of content, also in a statement. "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."

Finally, CBS Television Distribution has sold the show to local television stations, including the CBS Television Stations, covering 85% of the country. The show will premiere on TV stations on weekends starting September 2014.

"This is a syndication rollout that's a great match of program with partners," said Scott Koondel, CBS Corp.'s chief content licensing officer. "The Good Wife episodes have been popular on Amazon's electronic-sell-through 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, which has been the recipient of Emmy, Golden Globe, Peabody, WGA and SAG Awards since its 2009 debut, is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions. The show stars Julianna Margulies, who has won an Emmy, Golden Gobe and SAG Award for her portrayal of attorney Alicia Florrick. 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.

September