ABC makes ‘Dharma’ Deal

“Dharma & Greg” is settling down for at least one more season at ABC.

ABC has renewed the 20th Century Fox Television sitcom in a complex deal that gives the network the option of paying a higher license fee if the show stays in its current Tuesday 9 p.m. slot, battling NBC’s “Frasier,” or a lower per-episode price if the show is moved to a less competitive time slot. ABC and 20th declined comment on the deal.

But sources said the renewal calls for ABC to shell out an estimated $2.4 million-$2.6 million per episode for a two-season pickup if it stays in the 9 p.m. Tuesday slot or closer to $2 million for a one-season pickup if the comedy moves out of the line of “Frasier” fire next season.

“Dharma,” a romantic comedy starring Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson, is wrapping its fourth season on ABC. The show has been a solid performer for ABC, but its numbers have taken a hit this season against tougher competition on Tuesdays.

As 20th’s renewal negotiations with ABC dragged on over the past few weeks, the studio was known to have received an overture from NBC about picking up the show.