`Road Rules’ driving into syndication

Dec 17, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Stations searching for that syndicated reality/game show strip may have finally found their daily dose of a “Survivor”-esque series in upcoming off-network runs of “Road Rules,” distributed by October Moon Television.
The MTV series will soon enter its 11th cycle on the cable channel, predating the success of the still-moving reality craze, and the first 100 episodes are now set to air in 60 percent of the country in fall 2002. The show is being offered on a barter basis with a young-skewing brand ready to air.
“Stations have watched the reality craze over the past year and a half, and a lot of attempts have been made to copy that success in syndication,” said Chuck Larsen, president of October Moon Television. “In syndication, however, the costs and difficulties of creating this kind of series are daunting.”
The strip follows a young group of competitors across distant lands in challenges designed to build up prize money. The series has been shot since 1995 in areas ranging from Australia to Latin America, with its 11th season set to air in early 2002 on MTV. Every cycle of the series outperformed both its lead-in and its lead-out.
Stations now onboard to air the series include WCIU-TV in Chicago, WTSP-TV in Tampa, Fla., and KTVK-TV in Phoenix. October Moon’s other MTV-spawned series, “Real World,” has been racking up clearances for its third year in syndication.
“This is a series that’s young in its appeal while adding competition and changing locations,” Mr. Larsen said of “Road Rules.” “Bunim/Murray Productions has established a brand name that continues to perform.”
Other reality/game show series that may come out of the gate for 2002 include Paramount Domestic Television’s “The Bar,” Buena Vista Television’s “The Last Resort” and Telepictures Distribution’s “Matchmaker Mansion.”