View Full Version : First run Syndication...???

Mary Covey
11-17-2000, 07:52 PM
I've heard a lot about first run syndication, but after so long.......
I'm sorry, but I've just GOT to know.
Here's why:
1. What kinds of channels was it on?
2. What were it's timeslots?
3. Were each of the syndication episodes respecttively aired on the same night, (withoutbsame timeslots) or did each station air it when they wanted to?
4. Was it aired weekly or daily?
Thanks for your help!

11-18-2000, 01:02 AM
I was wondering the same thing. I grew up with shows like Mama's Family and Charles in Charge, and never really understood the difference between a show being on "Primetime" or running in "syndication". So I was recently surprised when I read that a show like Mama's Family had actually been canceled back in 1984, and then was totally revamped and then run in syndication. I just always assumed that the show was still on some major network, and I was just watching reruns, but I guess I was wrong. So was it basically just being run on my local Fox network at obscure hours, like Baywatch was for instance?

11-18-2000, 03:08 AM
1. Mostly independent channels - this was before the days of FOX, the WB, and UPN

2. 7pm Saturdays? early primetime if I remember correctly and mostly on the weekends

3. I'm pretty sure it was up to the individual stations as it is now

4. weekly - they would do a similar number of episodes as a regular network show, usually 22-24 a season

Charles in Charge wasn't the only show to do this. There was Mama's Family as mentioned, Silver Spoons, Punky Brewster, Webster, and probably a few others..

11-19-2000, 08:51 AM
Great Answer TJ! I syndicate shows for a living so if there is anything else you need to know feel free to ask!

Brett Ferino
11-21-2000, 11:36 AM
Dont forget 9 to 5 and What's Happening!!!!

See you later - Brett J. Ferino


Florida: Now, the first week'll be on a trial basis:

Maude: Oh, Florida, dont be ridiculous, you're not on trial.

Florida: I *know*, you are!

11-22-2000, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by brendon:

Great Answer TJ! I syndicate shows for a living so if there is anything else you need to know feel free to ask!

Why don't sitcoms that get the boot nowadays go this route? Is it simply not profitable enough to do what shows like Mama's Family and Charles in Charge did? What show was the last to do this?

11-22-2000, 11:24 AM
Sure I can answer that. Charles in charge was among the first shows to be syndicated with first run episodes. Prior to this, shows that were cancelled merely showed re runs. But since then, there has been a glut of syndicated shows. The court shows, talk shows, are examples of first run shows. Then you add to it that every year shows that are on on the air now are made available like Friends, Drew Carey, Married with Children, Home Improvement, ect. The stations only have time on thier docket for so many shows. Thats another reason you dont see very many of the old shows anymore like silver spoons and different strokes and ect, there is just no room. Plus we have more networks then we did then. UPN and WB love to pick uo cancelled shows and just did with Sabrina the Teenage Witch and UPn with the Hughleys. The thinking around the business is if these networks dont want cancelled shows then there really dont make a viable candidate to be syndicated. As for the last show to to it, I beleive that crop in the late 80's, sliver spoons, punk brewster, mamas family, and of course, Charles, were the last. That was before the days of one court show after another UGH! I hope that helps.

11-22-2000, 11:50 AM
I dont mean to hog the board but I need to clear something up. Charles in Charge was not cancelled at the end of 1990. It was then and still remains one of the most sucessful shows in syndication history, at it's peak in 1989, airing on some 700+ stations in the US alone. However, in 1986, a show had never been bought back for new shows from a cancelled series and nobody wanted to be the first. Al Burton bought the show back becuase of 3 reason. 1. He got thousands of letter from fans of the show from its CBS run. 2. Scott Baio was very interested in reviving his role. 3 (and most important i think) He did have enough episodes in the can from CBS to make money from the show. So Charles became the first. But most people were skepitcal thinking if nobody wanted to see the show when it was on why now? There was a rule called the 3rd year rule. NO series would go past a 3rd year in syndication. This is why Mamas Family, which was 2nd to Charles in stations, went off the same year becuase both came on the same year. This rule stood until 1996 when Hercules the Legendary Journeys broke the infamous 3rd year rule and cmae back for season 4.

Nicole's Boy
11-22-2000, 05:09 PM
That's just insane. So these shows HAD to end when three years were up? I don't understand that at all. It seems so unfair to the actors and production crews.

"Charles in Charge" was MUCH more entertaining than "Who's the Boss," in my opinion. The show had such a better product. "Who's the Boss" was really one-dimensional, but CIC had virtually unlimited story potential. What was CBS thinking?!

This information still doesn't explain the abrupt cast change, however. If the CBS show was so incredibly popular among the general viewing audience, then why did they risk losing their fanbase by introducing a whole new cast (with the exception of Scott and Willie)? Oh, what a mystery!

11-22-2000, 09:03 PM
Actually its not a real mystery why the cast change. First, the show had been off the air for almost two years. To really make it feasable you had to bring back the entire first cast or none of them becuase it would have looked strange with two or three the same and the rest different and reuniting the whole cast after that amount time was not going to happen beucase of lack of interest or any number of things. Also, by then the kids were 16, 14, and 12. Even if you COULD get the whole cast back they older they are the less believeable it is that they need a "nanny". That is the problme the revamped charles would have had even it had been bought back for a 4th year. The kids were just too old. That said, the way the producers handled the change was at the least unbelievable and at the most ridiulous. All of a sudden charles coming home and finding a new family was a little dumb!

11-23-2000, 12:18 AM
Thanks for the info. Brendon. Lots of insightful and interesting details that I was not aware of.

11-23-2000, 02:51 PM
Thanks but its my pleasure to give the info. Sometimes tv can be a nasty and brutal game and the people that should matter most, the fans, get lost in the mess. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

03-01-2002, 10:29 PM
When mentioning first-run syndicated shows continuing on from network shows, don't forget "Too Close For Comfort".

03-09-2002, 09:05 AM
Now there is something else...
One of the main reasons why they made shows for syndication was because there was a minimum as to how many reruns were to be aired. What I mean is when the major networks cancelled their shows, the audience's popularity drove the producers to make more episodes to bring them to the quota that syndication requires. For example, let's say Charles in Charge lasted for 50 shows. It would not be shown then on a 5 day a week basis. If they did that, they would be showing the same shows every 2 months and that would loose interest as well as well invested money by the station itself. That way, if they made and extra let's say 50 shows, they would have more time to air different ones and also they would meet the quota of what syndication has to offer. Does that make sense?

However, Webster had episodes made for syndication even after ABC cancelled it with more than enough episodes for the requirements of syndication. There must have been a lot of rabid fans that wanted more. I know I loved them all. I grew up with them.

Slippery Dan
03-09-2002, 04:44 PM
Let me elaborate on this topic just a little bit. Charles In Charge was on the following channels on the following days at the following timeslots at one point or another:
Note: All times are coincide with the cities.

Indianapolis, IN - WXIN FOX 59 Saturdays 5:30pm
Chicago, IL - WGN 9 Saturdays 5:30pm
Terre Haute, IN - WBAK ABC 38 Saturdays 1:30pm
Denver, CO - KWGN 2 Sundays 4:30pm
Columbia, SC - WACH FOX 57 Saturdays 7pm
Savannah, GA - WTGS FOX 28 Sundays 6pm
Hartford, CT - WTIC FOX 61 Sundays 5:30pm
New York, NY - WPIX 11 Saturdays 6pm
Philadelphia, PA - WGBS 57 Satudays 7pm
Boston, MA - WLVI 56 Saturdays 6pm
Providence, RI - WNAC FOX 64 Sundays 5pm
Sacramento, CA - KTXL FOX 40 Satudays 7:30pm
San Francisco, CA - KGO ABC 7 Sundays 3pm (also 9am)
Milwaukee, WI - WVTV 18 Saturdays 4:30pm
Green Bay, WI - WGBA 26 Saturdays 5pm
Toledo, OH - WUPW 36 Sundays 12:30pm
Cleveland, OH - WUAB 43 Sundays 5:30pm
Mansfield, OH - WCOM 68 Sundays 7pm

Just to name a few... :happyface

05-19-2002, 07:24 PM
I think that CIC aired in L.A. on KTLA

and CIC wasn't the last sitcom to air on first run syndication. Malibu, CA was.

Brett Ferino
02-13-2003, 03:15 PM
Malibu, CA was one of those Breaker/Sweet Valley High or Saved By the Bell, California Dreams, City Guys type teenager shows. And the show was just syndicated. It was not first run. BTW, it ran from 1998-2000...

02-17-2003, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by SBTB Geek
I think that CIC aired in L.A. on KTLA

and CIC wasn't the last sitcom to air on first run syndication. Malibu, CA was.

Let me correct myself- "CIC" aired on KTTV-FOX 11.

Brett- "Malibu, CA" was first-run.