Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: TP Videotapes
From: tneff@bfmny0.BFM.COM (Tom Neff)
Date: 1990-12-13, 23:44

In article <2375@maus.Morgan.COM> maus@Morgan.COM (Malcolm Austin) writes:
> >Is Twin Peaks likely to be syndicated?

My guess would be YES, unless Lynch/Frost have some problem with it.

> >I would be surprised, given the paucity of episodes, and their connectedness.
> >Have DALLAS, FALCON CREST, or other prime-time soaps ever been syndicated?
> >I would think Twin Peaks would be a hard sell to an independant station.

I shouldn't think it'd be a hard sell at all, unless the price was
inflated.  (With their production costs, it might be.)  It might be a
terrific success in syndication.

Now, there are two stories to syndication: pre- and post-cable.  Before
cable, syndication meant selling to individual TV stations all over the
world -- both independents and affiliates.  Those stations would pay
your fee, program your product and pocket the ad money.  Most stations
did and do operate on standard TV "seasons" like the networks.  The
preferred approach with syndicated reruns is to "strip" a show into a
timeslot, e.g., run M*A*S*H every weekday at 5pm.  But to do this for a
*season* means that the show itself must have run for *5 seasons*.  If
it only lasted a couple of seasons, no matter HOW popular it was, it's
hard for a station to buy the reruns and still put together a schedule,
although I have seen it tried.

This is why semi-hit shows used to desperately try for a fifth season,
even if the ratings sucked towards the end.  Once you're strippable it's
gravy time in syndication.

Now, however, the situation has changed with cable.  Programming there
is much more flexible; with no network affiliation cable channels can
operate on shorter cycles if they wish.  An example (close to my heart)
is SPENSER:FOR HIRE, which only ran three seasons and thus looked doomed
from a syndie standpoint.  Lo and behold, LIFETIME picked it up and
strips it weekdays at 10:30am and weeknights at midnight, plus one show
on Saturday afternoon.  They'll run through the canon in a few months,
but so what?  Their target audience of tapeheads, soapheads and shutins
doesn't care about orderly TV seasons anyway.  Loop forever or start a
new show.

If TP can last three seasons, I expect they'll be on cable somewhere.

> >I wouldn't be surprised if, assuming TP is cancelled this year, we don't see
> >some sort of Deluxe Collector's Gold-Plated Director's Cut Special Edition of
> >Twin Peaks come out on tape or LaserDisk in a couple of years.