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Test-Run Programs: The New Normal in First-Run Syndication

Why risk-averse networks are increasingly relying on trial runs before committing to original programs

From Campaign US: In many ways, “Page Six TV” — a new televised version of the New York Post’s infamous gossip page — continues some long-running boob tube trends: an obsession with celebrity, the mainstreaming of gossip, and panels of C-list comics scoring points off their more successful peers.
Less sexy, but maybe more significant, is how Fox is introducing the show. Yes, you could see “Page Six TV” on the air this week, but only if you happen to live in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa or Detroit. The show, produced by the Post and Endemol Shine North America, is the latest program launched in what is now commonly known in first-run syndication as a “test run.”

While the concept of the test run for new syndicated programming is nothing new (talker “The Real” from Warner Bros. was introduced in a series of select markets in the summer of 2013, as was Debmar-Mercury’s “The Wendy Williams Show” in 2008), it happens to be one of the fastest growing trends in broadcasting.
For more at Campaign US, click here