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Tribune, NBC ready ‘Malibu’

Tribune Entertainment has struck a deal with NBC Enterprises and Peter Engel Prods. to launch a new syndie weekly series, “Malibu, CA,” next fall.

The deal also gives Tribune off-network distribution rights to another Engel/NBC co-production, “City Guys,” which bowed this fall as part of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup of teen-oriented comedies.

“Malibu, CA” is described as a teen comedy in the same vein as Engel’s earlier NBC hits, “Saved by the Bell” and “California Dreams.” The half-hour series will be carried by all 16 major-market outlets in the Tribune Broadcasting group, which cover 33% of all U.S. TV households. NBC Enterprises will handle international distribution of the show.

The deal expands NBC’s budding interests in the domestic syndication biz and furthers Tribune Entertainment’s efforts to diversify its programming slate. In recent years, NBC’s domestic distribution partner on its Engel co-productions has been Rysher Entertainment, which was recently put up for sale by parent company Cox Communications.

The Tribune-NBC Enterprises pact was unveiled Wednesday by Tribune Entertainment prexy Dick Askin and Jerry Petry, executive VP of NBC Enterprises.

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