VH1 Buys Into Reality

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VH1 has purchased exclusive off-net rights to two broadcast reality series: NBC’s Tommy Lee Goes to College and America’s Next Top Model, the latter from co-owned UPN, and King World, the second big reality TV syndication sale for that distributor in the past couple of weeks..

The cable network paid around $70,000 per episode for Tommy and $75,000 per episode for Model.

VH1 now has the rights to seasons one through six of Model (five and six have yet to bow) – 77 episodes total – and options for additional seasons if UPN continues the show.

The network will air Model as marathons.

VH1 will repurpose this summer’s six episodes of Tommy, airing the episodes three days after they premiere on NBC.

Tommy Lee is a reality series in which the Motley Crue singer attends the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Cable, with its greater scheduling flexibility and a storied history of running shows numerous times, has become something of a test-bed for the repeatability of reality shows, with plans for marathons, theme groupings, and deals that amount to "instant" syndication," repeating shows just days after their initial airing.Outdoor Life snagged 10 seasons of CBS' Survivor from that self-same King world last week.Fear Factor has been the canary milkshake in the mineshaft for broadcast syndication of reality shows. It is a solid though not spectacular performer.Of the four rookie off-net strips, Fear Factor at a 1.8 season-to-date national Nielsen rating is  beating one show, Girlfriends, and is tied with Yes, Dear for second behind Malcolm in the Middle.

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