‘Lost’ bargain stunt attracts 5 stations

NL TV skeds 4 hours for New Year's

NEW YORK — New Line TV has started lining up TV stations to take a special four-hour New Year’s weekend block of selected episodes of the weekly syndicated hour “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.”

Five “Lost World” stations have so far signed up for the stunt, which offers the four episodes at a bargain: Instead of carving out seven minutes within each hour for national advertisers, New Line will hold back only two minutes. The result is that the stations will get 12 commercial minutes an hour to sell locally for the four episodes, not the usual seven.

But only one of the five stations on board will take advantage of carrying the unedited version of “Lost World,” including nude scenes, that runs on DirecTV six weeks before the bowdlerized hours make their way to TV syndication.

The station that’s letting it all hang out is actually a local-origination cable channel in Toledo, Ohio, affiliated with the WB Network, WTV5.

The four stations taking the tamer “World,” which can run any time between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, are WBBR Baton Rouge, La., WWWB Louisville, Ky., KWBH Tucson, Ariz., and WPME Portland, Maine.

The producers of “Lost World” are John Landis’ St. Clair Entertainment, Telescene and Village Roadshow. New Line TV is the distributor.