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Trifecta Picks Up 'Idol Rewind' for Distribution

Tribune’s ace has already found a new home.

Following the shuttering of Tribune Entertainment’s distribution division, FremantleMedia North America has turned to Trifecta Entertainment to sell its weekend syndication hit “American Idol Rewind.”

“This show carries with it a giant brand name that has already proven to be successful in syndication with stations around the country,” said Hank Cohen, CEO of Trifecta. “In addition, this deal helps us establish a relationship with Fremantle that we hope to see grow for years to come.”

“American Idol Rewind” launched two seasons ago atop the ratings charts for its category, shattering the commonly held belief that unscripted network fare had no back-end success. This season, the series is averaging a 1.8 household rating, tops among all unscripted weekly series, and a 0.9 among adults 18-34 for second p[lace among all weekly programs.

“This is the kind of show that’s perfect for the syndication marketplace,” said David Shall, executive VP of business operations at FremantleMedia North America. “'American Idol Rewind’ continues to pull in some great numbers and we thought that Trifecta would the the best fit for this show right now. They are a young, up-and-coming company that is hungry. It was a good fit.”

While Trifecta will now handle distribution for the show, Mr. Shall said barter sales are still in flux as the company sought a new company to handle the business. A clearer picture is expected to emerge in coming weeks.

Trifecta Entertainment & Media was founded in late 2005 by former top MGM Television executives Michael Daraio, Scott Spungin, Shelley Brown and Mr. Cohen. It currently distributes five shows in syndication, including “Punk’d” for 2008 as well as “UFC Wired” and “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,” which are currently on the air.

Tribune Entertainment ended a long run of distributing programs when it pulled out of the business last week. “American Idol Rewind” had ranked as the company’s top-rated performer since it launched for the 2006-07 season.

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