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Pax inks deal for NBC quizzer

Net to show same-week reruns of 'Twenty One'

Still unable to generate a hit program on its own, wannabe web Pax TV is seeking a primetime lifeline from corporate partner NBC.

Peacock has struck a deal with Pax that will allow the fledgling net to air same-week reruns of the NBC Studios-produced frosh quizzer “Twenty One.”

Starting April 8, Pax will run the Maury Povich-hosted gameshow Saturday nights at 9 — six nights after the skein’s regular Monday night broadcast on NBC.

Last September, NBC took a $415 million stake in Paxson Communications, in part to give the Peacock another outlet for its primetime programming. The two nets are now actively working together on several joint projects.

“This is just the first of what we hope will be many opportunities for NBC and Pax to work together and mutually benefit from creative scheduling of programming,” NBC West Coast topper Scott Sassa said. “Our goal is to introduce some of our popular existing programming to new audiences. …”

Pax has already aired a smattering of Peacock product in primetime, including a pair of NBC telepics. Early Nielsen results have been encouraging: Two pics doubled Pax’s admittedly meager adult 18-49 timeslot average.

Season-to-date, Pax’s primetime sked is averaging a weak 0.3 rating in adults 18-49 and a 0.8 rating among all homes, virtually unchanged from a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Pax execs had predicted the net would average a 1 rating in homes by now.

While off-net repeats of shows like “Diagnosis Murder” have done okay on Pax, the net’s small roster of original skeins — developed under Pax TV prexy and CEO Jeff Sagansky — have proven to be ratings losers. As a result, Pax officials are hoping NBC will allow more Peacock programs to show up on their mini-web.

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