Having scored impressively with its global licensing deals for Mad Men, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed this week that Mary Louise Parker-starrer Weeds will be the company's next big push: "We're readying our next big property Weeds for syndication in the fall." The company (which also includes Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and STARZ's "Power" franchise) has every reason to feel confident about the move. First, Lionsgate's quarterly earnings report saw revenue from its library grow to a record $219 million in the latest quarter, and television profits grow by almost 40%, to $34.9 million (much of that having to do with the Mad Men deal). The award-winning Matthew Weiner series saw a second syndication deal that landed it on Amazon and IMDbTV internationally and on AMC platforms domestically, with the series debuting on Lionsgate-owned Starzplay across their European and Latin American markets as well as in Japan.
Second, unlike Mad Men, the eight season, award-winning comedy-drama is heading into the marketplace with a big carrot to dangle: a sequel series is in development that brings Parker back to the role of Nancy Botwin- who is to marijuana what Bryan Cranston's Walter "Heisenberg" White and Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman were to crystal meth. Announced back in November 2019 with a working title of Weeds 4.20, the series reportedly picks up a decade after the series ended its run (on Showtime in 2012) and follows Botwin and the rest of her family and crew as they readjust to a society that's mainstreamed pot and embraces legalized marijuana. Along with returning starring in the series, Parker will also serve as an executive producer. Victoria Morrow is also onboard, serving as writer and executive producer. Having signed an exclusive overall deal with Netflix in 2017, series creator and original Weeds showrunner Kohan is not attached to the sequel series.