Syndicators Strike Back!

Suddenly, there’s all sorts of news from the syndication marketplace.

Last Updated: November 6, 2009 @ 1:13 PM

Apparently, it’s Syndication is Still Alive week in TV land.

The last few days have seen an unusual flurry of activity in the both the off-net and first-run syndie marketplace.

The most recent announcement comes from CBS TV Distribution, which announced the inevitable: "Dr. Phil" has been renewed through 2014 on stations reaching 70 percent of the country. While there was no doubt CTD would find a way to keep the show alive, what wasn’t clear was what sort of hit the distributor would take to do so, since stations weren’t keen on continuing to pay the show’s hefty license fees.

Broadcasting & Cable’s syndie ace, Paige Albiniak, confirms in her reporting on the deal that, in fact, CTD’s deals with stations do include immediate license fee cuts.

Meanwhile, B&C also reports (but so far, NBC U hasn’t announced) renewals by the bankrupt Tribune group for "Maury," "Jerry Springer" and "Steve Wilkos" through 2012. This is appropriate, since the world apparently will end in 2012, and we can’t imagine three better shows to help signal the apocalypse.

On the off-net side, TheWrap’s Dan Frankel covers TNT’s pickup of "The Mentalist" here. That deal comes a day after CTD sold repeats of "NCIS: Cool J" to USA, in what might be one of the quickest syndication sales ever (the show debuted less than two months ago).

Add in all the speculation about Oprah, and it’s been quite a week for our pals in the syndication world. We suspect things will return to their normal state — inactivity, a massive struggle for survival–  next week.

Although, the Wax Museum is scheduled to reveal its life-size version of Mary Hart next week, so… there’s that.