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‘Whacked’ Spinoff Set for Syndie, MyNetwork

Dec 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

MyNetworkTV will give a Monday night prime-time berth early next year to Mighty Oak Entertainment’s “Whacked Out Videos,” the next title in Mighty Oak’s “Whacked Out Sports” franchise that is enjoying a thriving run in syndication and on cable.
However, in the latest take on a multiplatform strategy from a distributor, the weekly series will also be sold into syndication at the upcoming National Association of Television Program Executives market for a fall 2008 debut.
A total of 104 half-hour episodes of “Whacked Out Videos” are set to be completed by next fall for syndication. MyNetwork, however, will program the series in a one-hour block Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning Jan. 9.
“Whacked Out Sports” currently ranks as one of the top weekly non-scripted series in syndication in its second season on the air, with a 1.6 Nielsen average audience rating, up 23 percent compared to its first year, and is No. 1 overall in the male demos. The series also performs well for cable outlet Spike TV as well as on superstation WGN in a cable/syndication window.
“The nature of our show is highlight clips, and the way we package our clips makes our programming incredibly watchable,” said Mark O’Brien, president of Mighty Oak Entertainment. “If you think about the content that we are replacing, there is no doubt we are going to improve time period performance.”
There are rarely shows that go from syndication to network based on previous success of the franchise. Typically a successful show that airs on the network will instead be developed for syndication, as with the upcoming “Deal or No Deal” from NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.
The series will continue the tradition of the original “Sports” program, which features an on-air character (a 30-year old who lives at home with his mom) giving his perspective of the clips in humorous fashion. If the ratings of “Videos’” debut approaches the level of its sister series “Sports” at a 0.9 among adults 18 to 49, that would be good enough to triple MyNet’s performance in the demo this season.
The network continues to shift away from last year’s all-telenovela programming strategy. MyNet is currently developing a sitcom, a scripted action-drama and a spinoff of its highest-rated show, the documentary reality series “Jail,” as part of MyNet President Greg Meidel’s plan to revamp the fledgling network. The network showed an uptick during the November sweeps, doubling or nearly doubling its November 2006 numbers in the male demographics and up 17 percent in households, but it still significantly trails The CW in the ratings race for fifth place.
“Things are getting better,” Mr. Meidel told TelevisionWeek recently. “We’ve come a long way since last fall, since the change of the schedule and weaning ourselves off the telenovela. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we’ll continue to see improvement.”
As for Mighty Oak, Mr. O’Brien said that the company will follow its strategy of picking and choosing its outlets as the company continues to grow. The former Warner Bros. distribution executive, who previously helped launch 65 series into syndication, founded the company in 2006. “Sports” currently has successful runs around the world including a recent deal with Network Seven in Australia.
“The MyNet deal brings network promotion to a worldwide brand,” he said. “We are already sold all over the world with ‘Whacked Out Sports’ and will continue to grow the brand with ‘Whacked Out Videos.’”
(Updated programming information in third paragraph)

9 Comments

  1. I hope this show does extremely well and then some. The producer of this show is a man of integrity and originality. I wish Mark O’Brien the best.
    Sincerely,
    Mary Ronson

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