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ABC Family big on ‘Smallville’

Net also nabs 'Kennedy Experiment,' theatrical pix

NEW YORK — ABC Family will pony up close to $100 million for a huge slate of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable product, with cable TV rights to “Smallville” reruns as the highlight.

The “Smallville” license fee will come to a healthy $400,000 an episode; ABC Family outbid the Sci Fi Channel and Spike TV, among other cable networks.

In addition to “Smallville,” ABC Family gets cable rights to another WB series, “JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”; the renewal of the 192 half-hours of the sitcom “Full House”; some holiday animated specials; and up to 100 theatrical movies, including “You’ve Got Mail,” “Miss Congeniality,” “The Perfect Storm” and “Twister.”

ABC Family takes title to “Smallville” and “Jamie Kennedy,” each with 66 episodes, in the fall. Warner Bros. will likely sell a weekend play of “Smallville” to TV stations in rerun syndication simultaneous with its ABC Family runs beginning in the 2005-06 season.

Most of the movies ABC Family gets will have already run on broadcast and cable TV. Some will wind up in very short windows; others will be exclusive to ABC Family for between one and three years.

Based on a previous deal with Warner Bros. Domestic, ABC Family gets “The Gilmore Girls” in the fall, so the network could pair it with “Smallville” in a two-hour early-evening block. And ABC Family could twin “Jamie Kennedy” with its long-running primetime bellwether “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

The point men for the deal were Mark Silverman, general manager and senior VP of ABC Family, and Eric Frankel, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.

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