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Tween Favorites on Offer

Jan 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Buena Vista Television is taking Disney Channel favorites “Lizzie McGuire” and “Even Stevens” into broadcast syndication for fall 2006.

The distributor will package the shows in a three-hour block that stations can use for Saturday or Sunday mornings or break them up into half-hour afternoon strips with weekend runs.

The package, which stations can use as their entire Federal Communications Commission-mandated education and informational requirement, is being offered on an all-barter basis.

Buena Vista will take 3.5 minutes as part of the local/national ad split, but for now the distributor has not decided whether it will go with a station group sale or a market-by-market pitch, said Jed Cohen, executive VP and sales manager for Buena Vista.

“We’re in the marketplace discussing that with potential station groups,” Mr. Cohen said. “Lizzie” and “Stevens,” which are both multiple Parents’ Choice Awards winners, found loyal audiences on Disney Channel, something rare for shows that tend to be E/I-friendly.

“These shows have the ability to attract kids 2 to 11,” Mr. Cohen said.

Besides being a draw for younger audiences, the package may also serve stations looking to shore up their afternoons.

“Obviously, they have great appeal to tweens,” said station rep Garnett Losak, VP and director of programming for Petry TV. “Many stations are in a really desperate need for 4 p.m. transition programming. We haven’t had anything like this in a long, long time.”

Having the strip serve as a transition from daytime programming to early fringe is attractive, said station rep Bill Carroll, VP and director of television for Katz Television Group.

“The real question becomes the ability of those shows in the current marketplace,” Mr. Carroll said. “Without having all the details, it’s hard to know, but stations that have had success with ‘Full House’ and maybe ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ might give a serious look at another show that has teen appeal, and look at it for early afternoon schedules.”