Years ago, hit sitcoms didn’t reach syndication status until they were off the airwaves of their home network for a while. Like most things in media the timeline has jumped significantly. USA announced last spring that Modern Family would be in syndication on the network as USA attempts to expand into the comedy realm. The move proved to be a fairly successful one. As the show entered its fifth season on ABC, ratings for reruns on USA have been fairly solid.
Coincidentally, USA has been much more effective at using transmedia to engage viewers of the Modern Family programming block, especially on their heavily promoted Modern Family Fridays (#TGIMF ) via the Twitter account Modern Family Nation. As a matter of fact, I engaged with the hashtaggery one fine Friday, and got retweeted by the account:
— Modern Family Nation (@MOFYNation) March 15, 2014
Fun stuff, right? It’s telling that USA, a network that in some ways has been struggling in ratings in recent years, is willing to use a show like Modern Family as a launching pad for their push toward more comedy programming. It’s fitting considering at the time the network announced the syndication move, they also announced the premiere of a new original comedy series called Sirens. Sirens itself is actually much more cable, less network in its dialogue, but so far it is just as funny as Modern Family. Just a bit cruder without being tasteless. The style of humor is one that fits USA: smart and witty. Those two traits actually fit the general style of comedy in both new shows to USA’s line up. It’s certainly a welcome change from the crime-dramas, although I’m partial to Law & Order: SVU and in the past I was a huge Burn Notice fan. With the hit comedy Psych ending, it makes sense that the network is looking to add more comedies to their programming.