“Under 18… Not Admitted,” a firstrun entertainment strip, is being produced to take advantage of the Federal Communications Commission’s syndicated exclusivity rules.
United Video plans to make the new half-hour weekday dance show available to the more than 33 million homes nationwide that receive the satellite-delivered WGN/UVI feed.
The syndex rules, reimposed a year ago, empower local broadcasters to enforce exclusivity of syndicated programs against cable tv operators, such as WGN Chicago, that import the same programming via distant tv signals.
Syndex challenges satellite signal distributors such as United Video to provide substitute programming for timeslots that would have to be blacked out.
“Under 18” will not be seen viewers in Chicago, but it will be offered as an original program as part of United Video’s national blackout-free schedule. The new program replaces half-hours of an old “Abbott & Costello” series.
Programming consultant Dick Block, who counts United among his clients, suggests that “Under 18” is just one of several new programs planned to cover syndex blackouts on the WGN/UVI service. He says syndex is offering new opportunities for producers and others.
“We’re thinking of gameshows and talkshows,” reports Block.
“Under 18” is going into a 5:30 p.m. Central time slot and is being produced by On Air Entertainment Corp. as a spinoff of that company’s “Dance Party U.S. A.” series on cable’s USA Network.
Show, produced on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is looking to attract an older age demographic than that reached by “Dance Party.”
Flip magazine, official publication of “Dance Party,” is underwriting “Under 18.”