Amid a tough economy and a poor track record for recent debuts, syndicators are taking more creative approaches for rolling out new shows, reports TVNewsCheck.com.
It used to be that a syndicator would find an appealing host, produce a pricey pilot and shop it to television stations. But now that it isn’t a guarantee of success, syndicators are trying approaches such as the limited-run spin-off, while others are importing shows from outside the U.S. or testing a program in a few markets before seeking national distribution, the story says.
NBCU Domestic Television Distribution, for example, will roll out a daytime variation of its "Access Hollywood" show with limited distribution to 13 stations, the story says. The show, "Access Hollywood Live," will debut in the fall.
"These models are all about mitigating risk for broadcasters and distributors," says Ritch Colbert, principal at Program Partners, which is selling Canadian program "Steven and Chris," a proven show in its home country. "It definitely opens up a lot of possibilities for testing new formats and talent."
In recent years Debmar-Mercury in particular has pioneered various out-of-the-box techniques to launch syndicated shows.