Cable nets grab rerun rights to reality hit

Cablers OWN and TLC have ponied up significant bucks for rerun rights to CBS’ reality hit “Undercover Boss.”

Deal orchestrated by CBS Television Distribution prexy Scott Koondel calls for the show to bow on both cablers in fall 2012. Series from the Studio Lambert banner revolves around corporate CEOs and other top execs who go incognito to work in the lower rungs of their companies.

“Boss” came to the off-net market with more money-making potential than most unscripted skeins because the segs are self-contained. It’s understood that OWN and TLC, both of which fall under the Discovery Communications umbrella, will shell out license fees that combined hit the mid six-figure range, which is a good showing for a reality off-net sale.

Skein, exec produced by Stephen Lambert and Eli Holzman, is going into its third season on CBS. The property is becoming an increasingly important franchise to the Eye as the format rights have been licensed for productions in the U.K. and Oz. CTD is about to begin shopping rerun rights to Brit and Aussie renditions to U.S. nets. The syndie unit is also eyeing a possible first-run syndie spinoff dubbed “Be the Boss,” which would follow people as they get the chance to run their own businesses.

” ‘Undercover Boss’ is huge franchise that we intend on exploiting on many platforms in the future,” Koondel said.

CTD and Lambert are still pursuing the possibility of producing a companion follow-up episode to air with each “Boss” repeat, but the initial deal with OWN and TLC covers only the CBS repeats, Koondel said (Daily Variety, April 28).

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