Firstrun weeklies hit market crunch

While most of the new high-profile firstrun weeklies found large station group homes for fall, a handful are struggling for top-market clearances.

Among the adult half-hour and hour weeklies that haven’t announced sales in any of the three largest markets are: “Team Xtreme” from SeaGull Entertainment, “Sushi TV” from Summit Media, “No Sweat” from Promark and “E.N.G.” and “Looking Beyond” from Tradewinds TV.

At least one high-profile project, “Total Recall: The Series” from Team Entertainment, definitely will not be launched in national syndication, but could go to cable, a spokesman said. Contrary to one published report, ACI’s “First Wave” never was formerly announced as a domestic syndication project and was not taken to NATPE.

All American Television has not yet announced top-market clearances for “Ghost Stories” with Rip Torn, but sources at the company said deals have been closed in New York and Chicago that will be announced after a sale has been finalized in Los Angeles.

Sheldon Hirsch, CEO of Summit Media Group, said he has offers pending for “Sushi TV” in L.A. and Chicago, and he expects the show, a compilation of adult Japanese animated movie segments, to get launched.

“Sushi TV” has been sold in a few cities with large Asian populations: Honolulu, Seattle and San Francisco.

Promark TV president David Levine said “No Sweat” has cleared only 20% of the country and none of the top three markets, but will be launched in June on a slow-rollout plan.

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