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VH1 falls for ‘The Bachelor’

Network purchases reality reruns from ABC

VH1 has bought the entire library of more than 130 hours of ABC’s reality dating series “The Bachelor” and will blanket its schedule with the rerun episodes during the first week in June.

The deal was the second recent burst of good news for Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, which owns “Bachelor” and engineered the VH1 deal. ABC has just commissioned “Bachelor” for a 13th cycle of episodes for the 2008-09 season. The show premiered on ABC in March 2002.

Ben Zurier, exec VP of program strategy for VH1, said the network doesn’t buy lots of reruns but chose “Bachelor” because “people will watch it again for the intrigue, romance and backstabbing,” even though regular viewers of the ABC originals may know which woman the bachelor eventually selects.

VH1’s viewers will be predisposed to “Bachelor,” Zurier said, because the show has some of the elements of the network’s hit originals including “Rock of Love” and “Flavor of Love.” But the net is unlikely to schedule “The Bachelor” as a regular daily or weekly series, he added, preferring to play it “as needed” for frequent marathons. ABC Family did marathons of “Bachelor” reruns during the first few seasons as a promotional vehicle for the ABC originals.

Mike Fleiss is executive producer of “Bachelor” for Next Entertainment and Warner Horizon TV.

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