Why don't we see certain shows in syndication?
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Thread: Why don't we see certain shows in syndication?

  1. #1

    Why don't we see certain shows in syndication?

    I was a fan of TBS/TNT's "BABYLON FIVE" but once it aired,
    never saw it again on broadcast television.

    I was also a fan of SCI-FI Channels "BATTLESTAR GALACTICA"
    which I never saw again after it's original airing.

    Finally, "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" never saw it again after
    the series ended.

    WHY????

  2. #2
    Interesting question. Typically, for a series to make it to syndication, you need a minimum of five seasons of episodes. You need a certain level of success during its first run. You need a distributor. And you need a plan to market the show to affiliates.

    Babylon Five went 5 seasons, and was a moderate success. It was produced by Warner Brothers TV, and they do a ton of syndication. I gather the company felt it was more profitable to sell the series as videos direct to consumers rather than pursue syndication.

    Battlestar Galactica didn't get the five seasons minimum. Universal had used the name and franchise for a number of platforms, from the TV series to films to games. They also are available as videos.

    The one thing that is becoming a new platform for syndication, and it may be the way for Desperate Housewives, is On Demand through Hulu and Netflix. On Demand TV has potential for being more profitable than local syndication. It has the additional benefit of being low cost, and so not dependent on a certain number of episodes or attracting a large number of affiliated stations. I saw that Babylon Five is available on Hulu now.

  3. #3
    Half hour comedies without a lot of topical humor tend to last the longest in syndication

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nomadcowatbk View Post
    Half hour comedies without a lot of topical humor tend to last the longest in syndication
    That's probably why old black-and-white "fossils" like I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show (thru 1964-65), and The Honeymooners did so well for so many decades.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  5. #5
    Regarding "Desperate Housewives", dramas with story arcs usually don't do well in reruns.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Marlowe View Post
    Regarding "Desperate Housewives", dramas with story arcs usually don't do well in reruns.
    Yes, it seems like shows that are more standalone do better. Lost, for instance, was a hugely popular show when on, did not do well in syndication. I'm guessing people don't want to be tied down to having to watch a show every day, they prefer to watch something where they can miss an episode and not be lost the next day. I don't remember shows like Dallas or Dynasty being rerun much back in the 80s, so I don't think that is a new thing.

    As far as syndication, it is not the number of seasons that is required, it is the number of episodes. (since you can have short seasons, you can't count those the same.) It used to be 100 episodes were considered the norm for being able to syndicate, now it is down to 88 as an acceptable number. (which would translate to 4 full seasons). The web sites that predict renewal/cancel of TV shows such as tvbythenumbers use this fact when deciding if a low rated show might be renewed to get it to 88. Typically, networks will renew a show if one more season can get it to 88, where they might cancel a show with the same ratings if it is in the first or second year.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Marlowe View Post
    Regarding "Desperate Housewives", dramas with story arcs usually don't do well in reruns.
    they seem to do better on cable networks than local stations

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Corky Marlowe View Post
    Regarding "Desperate Housewives", dramas with story arcs usually don't do well in reruns.
    "Desperate Housewives" had a very good, and generally hilarious, first year and then fell off the wagon in subsequent years. It largely dropped the black humor which made the first year so good and got into various social scenarios which most viewers probably didn't find attractive (more "Dallas-ie" if you want to put it another way).

    I am not normally a viewer of this type of show but thought that first year was great. The 2nd and successive years were huge disappointments.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  9. #9
    One of my old faves was St. Elsewhere. Haven't seen it in reruns anywhere in quite a while. I remember Bravo and maybe T.V. Land. Don't remember. But I found an old VHS tape of the pilot episode for $1.99 (I think) at a used record store and picked it up. I was not a fan yet when the pilot episode originally aired, so I had never seen it.

    That said, I believe that St. Elsewhere was a great television show for its time, but I also believe that subsequent hospital dramas (at least the ones that I have watched) have been a bit more realistic.

  10. #10

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    Drama's are more in weekend Syndication Desperate Housewives was on the weekend for a couple of seasons in fall of 2008-10 I believe maybe it was longer I know Wood TV aired it like 2AM late Saturday/Sunday.

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