‘Nanny’ inks syndie pacts

NEW YORK — Columbia TriStar TV Distribution has landed its first two station deals for “The Nanny” in rerun syndication: WNYW New York and WPWR Chicago.

Sources say WNYW will pay Columbia about $75,000 a half-hour, which factors out to between $9 million and $10 million for the 122 episodes produced during the first five years of the show’s network run. That’s well below Columbia’s initial asking price of $130,000 an episode in New York, but the fee was enough to persuade the distributor to put the show into syndication rather than sell it to a cable network like Lifetime.

WNYW has also agreed to take future episodes if CBS continues renewing “Nanny” into a sixth year and beyond. A Columbia spokesman declined to comment on the syndication of “The Nanny.”

Although WPWR refused to disclose its price, Al Devaney, G.M. of WPWR, said “The Nanny” “will fit nicely into a couple of time periods,” including 5-7-p.m. (Chicago time) block and post-10 p.m. WPWR is the Chicago outlet for Columbia’s syndicated “Ricki Lake Show.”

“The Nanny” becomes available to TV stations in fall 1998. If the station buyer runs the show once a day for five days a week, the first cycle of 122 half-hours will stretch to 3-1/2 years. The station will add eight months onto that license term for each additional year of 22 episodes that CBS commissions from the studio.

Columbia will hold back one minute of commercial time within each half-hour run for sale to national advertisers.

Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for Katz Television, which advises TV station clients on their programming decisions, said, “‘The Nanny’ could serve as a good utility player for stations, who might do well with it, say, at 6 or 6:30 p.m.”

Columbia had bids out for “The Nanny” in Los Angeles, but one source said no announcement is expected before next week.

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