FX not ecstatic, but satisfied, with `24′ repurposing

Nov 26, 2001  •  Post A Comment

“24” is another high-profile FX series not growing its time period ratings over last year. Nevertheless, “24” should not be regarded as a ratings failure, said Chuck Saftler, senior VP of programming and acquisitions at FX.
The new series, which premiered recently on Fox’s broadcast network, is being repurposed on FX, with double runs on both Fox-owned networks. Each new “24” airs first on Tuesday on Fox, then is repeated on Friday. The same episode is then telecast by FX in late-night on Sunday and repeated in prime time on Monday.
“We’re now the third and fourth run [of each new episode],” Mr. Saftler said. “Would I like to see higher numbers? Absolutely.” But from a “vertical integration standpoint,” in which the goal is to “cume” the ratings across all four runs, “This is a very successful strategy,” he said.
It is, perhaps, the model of strategies to come, in which amortizing production costs and maximizing back-end potential becomes more important than time-period ratings for expensive series.