SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE Both Acquired By Smaller Cable Networks in Big Time Syndication Deals
FansofRealityTV.com – They may not be the biggest players on television or cable, but they are making a play for the big time. OLN, the Outdoor Life Network, and GSN, The Network for Games, have both recently announced huge syndication deals with two of reality television’s most popular series (SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE, respectively) in hopes that the loyal fan bases of these classic juggernauts will be attracted to their channels and stay for other programming.
On the advent of its 10th anniversary on the air, OLN announced on June 1st that it had acquired exclusive syndication rights to air seasons 1 through 10 of the blockbuster Mark Burnett and CBS reality series SURVIVOR. Quite a coup for OLN, this will be the first time most of these episodes have been seen on television since their original airing, and it is the net’s biggest acquisition to date. Struck through King World Productions, Inc., the deal includes not only the rights to the first 10 seasons and more than 160 episodes of the series, it also provides them with options for the SURVIVOR seasons 11 AND 12.
OLN will launch SURVIVOR season 1 on July 24th, after this year’s Tour de France. "Survivor is in good company on OLN, especially with the premiere following the epic conclusion of Lance Armstrong's final Tour de France," said Mark Burnett, SURVIVOR’s Exec. Producer. "I'm excited SURVIVOR fans are going to be able to revisit their favorite moments from past seasons. It's a fantastic growth opportunity for OLN and a great partnership for us." Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. Also believes the show and his net are a good match: " What better show to bring to OLN, than one that is all about surviving and competing in the great outdoors?"
OLN promises that “Viewers will be able to relive all of the scheming and the physical challenges, the tension-filled Tribal Councils, and the most exciting moments from SURVIVOR history”: from the Susan’s meltdown and Richard’s birthday suit of Season 1; to John’s lie about his grandmother's demise and Rupert’s thievery in Survivor: Pearl Islands; to Jenna and Heidi’s strip show in Survivor: Amazon; to, of course, the Ramber proposal on the live reunion show of SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS?
In addition to airing each season in its entirety, OLN also plans to re-package the programs according to themes like 'Most Villainous Characters' and 'Biggest Twists.' The network will also use Survivor as a platform to introduce OLN's new generation of original series. "This show presents a huge opportunity for our network," said Marc Fein, Senior V.P. of Programming and Production. "Since 2000 each season of Survivor has ranked among the top five shows of that season and averaged more than 20 million viewers. Research speaks to the show's continuing strength and the compatibility between our audience and that of Survivor. The built-in fan base will bring new viewers to OLN, exposing them to all of the other great programming we have to offer."
Then just last Thursday, GSN announced that it had also made a prized acquisition of their own through King World: cable’s “Network for Games” bought off-network rights to episodes of the Emmy Award-winning adventure reality series, THE AMAZING RACE. As with SURVIVOR on OLN, it will be the first time THE AMAZING RACE episodes will have been seen since their original airings. GSN's deal gives it rights to the first eight seasons of more than 100 hours of the show, as well as the option for the next two installments.
THE AMAZING RACE’S Exec. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said, "We are pleased that the one-of-a-kind adventures offered by THE AMAZING RACE have found a second home on GSN. We have received an outpouring of responses from our viewers that they would love to see the series again and we have many fans who came to the series after its beginning. THE AMAZING RACE on GSN will satisfy both groups and hopefully bring in new fans."
GSN’s Senior V.P. of Programming, Ian Valentine is proud to have THE AMAZING RACE on GSN: "It offers everything that our network stands for -- competition, adventure, terrific production values, good storylines and great characters. We couldn't be more thrilled to be the year-round home of this award-winning series."
THE AMAZING RACE’S first season will air on GSN starting Monday, July 11 at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and will air daily in this regular time period thereafter, with an encore showing at midnight every night except Fridays during GSN's Casino Night. The network will show each complete season in consecutive order as well as program special marathons at various times throughout the year.
THE AMAZING RACE, meanwhile, is currently gearing up for a brand new season (its eighth) which will put a new twist on its team format by setting families of four in competition against each other.