MTV’s ‘Punk’d’ goes into syndication

Kutcher's reality show to air reruns in fall 2008

Punk’d,” the MTV reality show that uses hidden cameras to play pranks on celebrities, is going into TV syndication as a rerun half-hour in fall 2008.

L.A.-based Trifecta Entertainment & Media, a two-year-old distributor set up by former MGM TV executives, will offer 22 episodes of “Punk’d” to stations for weekend play during the 2008-09 season.

Hank Cohen, a partner and CEO of Trifecta, said “Punk’d” will have a marketplace advantage in that it’s different from most of the shows with which it’s competing for station slots in September ’08 — off-network crime hours such as “CSI: NY,” “NCIS” and “The Closer.”

“Punk’d” is a “utility player that stations can use in any time period,” Cohen said.

Like distributors of all weekly syndicated reruns, Trifecta won’t get cash from stations but instead will harvest 3½ minutes within each episode to sell to national advertisers. Trifecta’s New York office, headed by another partner, Michael Daraio, will handle the advertising sales.

Hosted by Ashton Kutcher, who co-created the show with Jason Goldberg, “Punk’d” features such celebrity victims as Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, Britney Spears, Jessica Biel, Hugh Jackman, Katie Holmes and Lindsay Lohan.

Trifecta is launching three weekly series in syndication next month: “Hollywood Shootout,” a syndicated version of the AMC series “Sunday Morning Shootout”; “UFC Wired,” an original hour featuring Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions; and “Into the Wild,” a half-hour animal series hosted by Jack Hanna.