In its seemingly never-ending quest to find a replacement for the defunct “Chevy Chase Show,” Fox Broadcasting Co. last week proposed that Columbia TriStar Television Distribution sell it rerun rights to “Seinfeld.”

But sources say Col turned down the offer because it believes it can make more money rolling out the off-net sitcom in syndication.

Reps for Fox and Col declined comment. One source suggested the weblet wanted to strip two back-to-back episodes in the 11 p.m.-midnight hour, while another said it wanted to air a single episode only each weeknight that would be paired with another program.

The syndicator evidently is hoping to make $ 2 million-$ 3 million per episode from “Seinfeld”– a price that would require many clearances in the access hour leading into primetime.

Although some in the industry see “Seinfeld” as a latenight vehicle, Col/TriStar syndie prez Barry Thurston has said many stations want to air it in access.

There was widespread station interest in the show at last month’s National Assn. of Television Program Executives confab. Demand is high for “Seinfeld” and Disney’s “Home Improvement” because both are considered to be the only major off-net sitcoms that will come down the pike for quite some time.

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