'American Chopper' and 'Deadliest Catch' Up for Syndication
'American Chopper' and 'Deadliest Catch' Up for Syndication
American Chopper and Deadliest Catch, two of Discovery Communications' highest-rated series, is about to enter into syndication, marking the company's first venture into syndication.

According to TV Week, Discovery hired Debmar-Mercury, a company run by Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein that has a history of distributing off-cable series like Comedy Central's South Park, to sell the two reality shows to local stations.  Both American Chopper and Deadliest Catch will be aired as weekend shows on a barter basis, with each of the stations and Discovery getting seven minutes of ad time per hour.

Advertising sales will be handled by Discovery.

American Chopper is a reality series that follows Paul Teutul Sr. and his son, Paul Teutul Jr., as they run a business creating custom motorcycles in their shop, Orange County Choppers, in Montgomery, New York.  The series premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2003, but early this year, began its latest season on the network's sister channel, TLC.

Deadliest Catch
is a documentary-style reality show that chronicles the events aboard fishing boats in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan King crab and Opilio crab on fishing seasons. The show is named as such because the boats' crews are at a high risk of injury or death.  It premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2005, and began airing its third season in April.  In May, a four-part special called After the Catch began airing.  Hosted by Mike Rowe, the special featured interviews with the captains and crews and behind-the-scenes footage.

American Chopper
will begin airing on the local stations next September, while Deadliest Catch will be available in September 2009.  Both shows will be in broadcast syndication for two years.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav views syndication as a potential source of new revenues, considering the company owns much of its programming rights and has 100,000 hours of content in its library.  Moreover, Zaslav says syndication will help bring the Discovery programming to a wider audience.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Week
(Image Courtesy of TLC)