‘Lost World’ to spin 3rd syndie season

Feat is impressive due to current market, ratings

New Line Television has secured a third season for syndie action hour “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World,” starting this fall, and sister company TNT has picked up reruns of the show’s first two seasons.

Basic cable’s TNT is set to air the show at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, effective immediately.

Season three of “Lost World,” which preems the week of Oct. 15, is cleared on TV stations repping coverage of more than 95% of the country. Some of those stations have upgraded the show’s time periods and/or added additional runs.

These are feats few people in the industry expected from a show that, like many other syndicated action hours, has struggled in the ratings game. During the most recent week for which ratings are available, repeats of “Lost World” earned a 1.8 national household rating, according to Nielsen.

“Announcing a third season of any series is an enormous accomplishment in today’s marketplace,” said New Line TV exec VP David Spiegelman.

Tough action

Indeed many studios, including New Line, have fought uphill battles to keep their weekly action hours afloat. Studios USA Domestic TV decided last year that “Xena: Warrior Princess” would not come back this fall, and FremantleMedia (then Pearson Television) permanently docked “Baywatch Hawaii” earlier this year.

The survival of “Lost World” is important to New Line, which in the two seasons since launching the show has sold — and then pulled back — two other actioners.

New Line decided in June not to go forward with “Hard Knox,” although the show was cleared on TV stations in more than 90% of the country for a fall preem. Company cited difficulty securing international funding as the reason for pulling the plug (Daily Variety, June 24).

That move followed New Line’s decision last year to pull action hour “Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher” from the market after selling it to stations repping some 65% of the country. New Line made a deal with cable net Sci Fi to air “Blackheart,” but the show never made it to air. International financing also was a key issue in that show’s demise.

For the third season of “Lost World,” Australian development and production company Over the Hill Gang joins Coote-Hayes in producing.

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