FX, Fox Set Repurposing Deal

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FX last week became the latest cable network to reach a deal to air repurposed programming from the broadcast realm.

The basic-cable programmer disclosed its long-rumored plans to rebroadcast episodes of two series from its News Corp. sibling, the Fox television network —24
and Nathan's Choice
— during the same week they debut over the air. Terms of the deal, which also marked Fox's initial foray into the repurposing arena, were not disclosed.

FX executives said the concepts behind both series could boost the value of second airings on the network. The series 24
is a one-hour, CIA-based drama that unfolds in real time, with each installment representing an hour out of one day. A second airing within the week on FX would allow audiences who may have missed the Fox broadcast to keep up with the show each week.

Nathan's Choice, a midseason replacement program, is a comedy that allows viewers to choose an ending. FX would air the alternative ending not shown on Fox, according to network executives.

"The ability to follow 24
on FX through each and every episode will add to the enjoyment of the series and will make it much more entertaining than just showing a rerun," FX president Peter Ligouri said. "With Nathan's Choice, we're adding an alternative ending to a show, which better lends itself to the meaning of repurposing."

Ligouri said it's too early to determine when the shows would air, but said the repeats would be very near to the broadcast runs.

"If they air on Tuesday nights, we're going to carry it as close to Tuesday as possible," he said.

Fox joins ABC, NBC and The WB as networks looking for ways to build ratings and amortize the high production cost of original programming via repurposing windows on basic cable.

For FX and other basic-cable services, such deals provide popular shows that drive sampling. They also offer a familiar, branded vehicle to help promote other programs, said executives.

The Walt Disney Co. said it plans to use its recently purchased Fox Family Channel to re-air entertainment, news and sports fare from ABC, as well as cable services Disney Channel and ESPN, when the transaction is completed and the network is relaunched as ABC Family.

Other cable networks that air repurposed programming include Turner Network Television, which is planning to distribute episodes of sister broadcast network The WB's Charmed
a week after they're broadcast.

USA Network has announced plans to air NBC's new Law & Order: Criminal Intent
several days after its bow on NBC. The network already runs NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Sunday at 11 p.m., nine days after its Peacock primetime premiere. The two series are produced by USA sister company Studios USA.

Lifetime Television will continue to rebroadcast the ABC series Once and Again
this season — the women's-oriented channel is half-owned by Disney, ABC's corporate parent.

For its part, Pax TV will offer a second run of the upcoming NBC drama Crossing Jordan, and is currently rebroadcasting NBC's Weakest Link
on Fridays. NBC is a stakeholder in Pax.

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