‘Kotter,’ ‘Dukes’ Aimed For Cable

Insiders say Warner Bros. is dusting off reruns of two of its TV series oldies, “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Dukes of Hazzard,” and preparing to pitch them to cable networks that employ off-network shows in their schedules. The new spin on “Kotter” (which accumulated 95 half-hours during its 1975-79 ABC run) is the latest come-back of John Travolta, who has a good shot at an Oscar nomination for “Pulp Fiction.” The 147 hours of “Hazzard,” a Friday-night mainstay on CBS from 1979-85, will try to tap into the latest vogue for Westerns, country music and cutoff jeans.

The two shows won’t go back into syndication, says Matt Shapiro, VP of programming for MMT Sales, the TV station rep firm, because “they were not huge hits” in their first syndie go-round. Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for another rep firm, Katz TV, says the likeliest buyers of “Kotter” and “Hazzard” “are networks like Nick At Nite and FX, which promote vintage series to adults who grew up watching these programs.”