'Sherlock' also picked up for distrib
Tribune Entertainment has wrapped up broadcast syndication deals with TV stations across the country to debut NBC’s Saturday-morning teen sitcom “City Guys” as an off-net weekday strip this fall.“City Guys,” created by “Saved by the Bell” producer Peter Engel and Scott Gorden, has been cleared on stations repping coverage of 80% of the country. NBC-based Peter Engel Prods. produces the show, which will begin its fifth season this fall. Among the stations to pick up the show’s off-net run are Tribune Broadcasting stations WPIX New York, KTLA Los Angeles and WPHL Philadelphia. Prior pact Trib’s deal to distrib the show pre-dated the September 2000 debut of NBC’s new inhouse syndie unit. The “City Guys” deal came together a few years ago, when Trib and NBC co-produced the former weekly half-hour “Malibu, CA.” “City Guys” is being sold on a barter basis, with a 3.5-minute national/3.5 local split. Meanwhile, Trib also has picked up distrib and barter ad sales rights to 26 episodes of children’s toon series “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” co-produced by DIC Entertainment and Scottish Television. Kids WB announced during its upfront presentation earlier this year that it had acquired the show, which aired on Fox in 1999 (Daily Variety, March 9). However, per the Trib deal, the WB will not be airing the series. Seventeen of the 26 episodes aired on Fox. Nine new episodes will make up the rest of the batch to be syndicated. Trib is offering the 26 episodes exclusively as a broadcast syndie property. “Holmes” is being offered as a weekly half-hour on a barter basis. In marketing the two skeins to TV stations, Trib is pointing out that both have been deemed “FCC Friendly.” If aired on the same station, they fulfill the FCC requirement of broadcast TV stations to provide three hours of educational programming each week for young people. Trib pacted earlier this year with NBC to sell barter ad time for NBC syndie properties “George Michael Sports Machine” and upcoming strip “The Other Half.” Trib also reps barter ad sales for “City Guys.” The companies announced last week that Trib will also sell the barter ad time for the syndie version of “The Weakest Link,” which NBC is hoping to launch on stations in January.
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