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Syndie action hours OK’d for soph sesh

'Relic,' 'Beastmaster' returning, 'Double,' 'Sheena' set to go

TV stations are once again seeing some action.

A slew of action hours debuting this year have now firmed up gos for a sophomore run this fall, locking up valuable station clearances next season. In addition, the tried and true vets will all come back to battle next year’s rookie crop.

Freshmen that already have second season pickups include Paramount’s “Relic Hunter.” Show’s been on a tear as of late, hovering in the mid-to-upper 2s in the Nielsen ratings during February sweeps. It’s now cleared in 80% of the country for the fall. “Hunter” tied fellow rookie “Beastmaster,” from Tribune, this week with a 2.4 score. “Beastmaster” is returning with a clearance of 87%.

Meanwhile, New Line’s ‘The Lost World” has a firm go for year two with 86% of the country on board for season two. Most recently, the series pulled a 2.0 rating.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous response to the series,” said David Spiegelman, exec veep of New Line. “Station groups have certainly noticed the series’ fantastic performance and recognize viewers’ demands for quality programming.”

King World’s “Peter Benchley’s Amazon” has yet officially to confirm a sophomore go, but a studio spokesman said that pre-sales for year two have been made “even earlier than normal” and an official decision should be made soon. Series most recently pulled a 1.8 rating.

Dean Hamilton Entertainment’s “The Dream Team” was pulled before December amid financial difficulties.

“VIP” from Columbia TriStar and MGM’s “Stargate SG-1,” both sophomores, will also be back on the small screen next season, joining programming staples “Baywatch Hawaii” from Pearson and Studios USA’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” and Tribune’s “Earth: Final Conflict.”

In January, Studios USA launched “Back2Back Action” while Universal unveiled “Total Recall.” Both are contractually bound to run through at least January. “Action” is actually the top freshman weekly hour thus far this season and just landed a 2.9 rating for the week of Feb. 14-20.

Meanwhile, new action hours are already in gear. Kaleidoscope Media Group was given the production greenlight to David Hasselhoff’s new vehicle “Double Cross” with 80% of the country cleared, including various NBC and CBS O&Os. Columbia TriStar’s “Sheena” and Tribune’s “Andromeda” have been given the greenlight for the fall.

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