Duopolies share the wealth

Sep 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Off-network runs of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Practice” and the Fox Kids programming block will shift from Fox stations to News Corp.’s newly acquired Chris-Craft Industries stations in New York and Los Angeles.
According to early schedules released by former Chris-Craft stations KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, and WWOR-TV, New York, two hours of Fox Kids, featuring the “Power Rangers Timeforce” and “Digimon: Digital Monsters,” will air on those stations, shifting the broadcasts from sister Fox stations KTTV, Los Angeles, and WNYW-TV, New York, respectively. The series will air from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the schedule, starting Sept. 17.
Additionally, Fox executives are planning to beef up the Sunday night presence of some of its newly acquired stations with prime-time airings of the upcoming off-network runs of both “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Practice” starting Sept. 23. Both series come from Fox’s Twentieth Television and pose intriguing lineups in the country’s two top markets.
KCOP and WWOR are UPN affiliates, and both will air Buffy as part of their network broadcasts this season. Now syndicated airings of “Buffy” are scheduled for 8 p.m. Sundays on those stations too.
“The Practice” will have its own off-network run at 9 p.m. Sunday, conveniently an hour before ABC airs new episodes of the series at 10 p.m.
“We have an opportunity to really build something on those stations,” said Frank Cicha, VP of programming for Fox Television Stations. “Some of the creative decisions we’ve made provide a unique opportunity to make the most of already strong series such as `Buffy’ and `The Practice.”’
Other creative scheduling set to debut on Sept. 17 will include series such as Carsey-Werner-Mandabach’s “3rd Rock From the Sun” switching from KTTV to KCOP, where it will air at 6:30 p.m. after “Blind Date,” followed by “Frasier” and “Seinfeld” the next hour.
“Seinfeld,” however, will also be seen on KTTV where a second run of the show will air at 11 p.m. Mr. Cicha said the second run provides a strong foundation from which to build on KTTV.
“Stations that picked up `Seinfeld’ for the second cycle experienced phenomenal growth that sometimes doubled or tripled its previous rating,” he said. “Because of this, we expect both dayparts to benefit from the series.”
Of the six Fox stations that picked up Columbia TriStar’s second cycle of “Seinfeld,” ratings and shares on all of them were up, one by more than 400 percent.
Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” will also taste fresh waters in the duopoly markets of Los Angeles and New York. In both markets, the series will air on both Fox-owned stations. In New York, “Ricki” will air at 5 p.m. on WWOR and at 10 a.m. on Fox New York flagship WNYW.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, “Ricki” will continue to air at 5 p.m. on KCOP while KTTV has it scheduled at 3 p.m. Phoenix station KUTP-TV, also part of the Chris-Craft station buyout, has upgraded the show from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Already announced has been the switch of Paramount Domestic Television’s “Montel Williams” from WWOR to WNYW at 3 p.m. Although there has been wide speculation that the series would make a similar shift in Los Angeles, the KCOP station schedule lists the series at 10 a.m.