Hallmark Channel benches 'Good Wife' reruns after just a few weeks

Hallmark Channel benches 'Good Wife' reruns after just a few weeks
"The Good Wife" is having trouble scoring clients for Hallmark Channel. (CBS)

Is Hallmark Channel already divorcing "The Good Wife?"

The cable network, which acquired reruns of the critically acclaimed CBS drama last year, has yanked the show from its schedule after just a few weeks. According to Nielsen, the repeats were averaging just 331,000 viewers. 

Intially, Hallmark was airing four episodes of "The Good Wife" in prime time. Then it scaled back to just two episodes. Now Hallmark is airing "The Waltons" and "Frasier."

A Hallmark Channel spokeswoman said the network still believes in the show "whole-heartedly" and "will find the right spot for it very soon."

When Hallmark bought reruns of "The Good Wife," it was part of a three-way deal that also included Amazon's Prime Instant Video service and Hulu Plus. Overall, CBS is said to have gotten close to $1.5 million per episode for "The Good Wife."

While Hallmark hasn't disclosed what it paid for the show, one industry veteran who often buys drama reruns said the price tag was likely between $350,000 and $400,000.

Serialized dramas such as "The Good Wife" often struggle to find audiences in reruns on cable television. However, the emergence of Netflix and Amazon as buyers of old episodes has emboldened networks to stick with the genre.

News of Hallmark's move was first reported by the blog SitcomsOnline.


Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.