FX Gets Fear Factor


FX -- which has experienced disappointing results with its own original reality show, Todd TV -- is dipping into the genre’s syndication pool, gaining the rights to NBC Enterprises’ and Endemol USA’s Fear Factor.

In what NBC Enterprises is billing as industry firsts, Fear Factor is the initial reality show to make the jump into syndication, as well as the first to give the cable network the same windows as broadcast stations that have secured rights to the show.

From FX’s perspective, the cash deal, terms of which were not disclosed, affords FX the right to strip the series, in which contestants are engaged in a series of physical and extreme challenges, on weekdays -- the same periods as broadcast stations that have also secured rights to the show.

An NBC Enterprises spokesman said FX and the stations -- reaching 70% of the nation through pacts with Fox’s owned-and-operated group, plus other companies -- will have access to different episodes as a means to reduce duplication.

The station-group deals were made on a split barter basis -- seven national minutes and seven local minutes per hour.

FX officials couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.

Now in its fourth season, Fear Factor is enjoying its strongest season to date from a Nielsen Media Research perspective, averaging more than 14 million viewers per episode. All told, more than 100 episodes have been produced to date.