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ABC Plans to Rerun 2 Sitcoms

October 22, 2002|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

Encores of two new ABC Tuesday comedies -- "Life With Bonnie" and "Less than Perfect" -- will run Saturdays on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Family cable channel four days after their initial network broadcast.

The Saturday night programming block is Disney's first major foray into "repurposing" or rerunning ABC shows on its sister cable channel. Disney paid $5.2 billion last year to buy the cable channel for additional advertising revenue and to have a secondary outlet for Disney-owned movies and TV shows. In August, ABC Family ran a modified version of ABC's dating show, "The Bachelor."

ABC Family had planned to include the back-in-time ABC drama, "That Was Then," in its Saturday night block, but poor ratings forced network executives earlier this month to cancel the show. Disney's Touchstone Television produces "Life With Bonnie," "Less than Perfect" and "That Was Then."

Disney isn't the only media company trying to extend the life of its shows before syndication. AOL Time Warner Inc.'s HBO network reruns the same episode of "The Sopranos" three nights after the show's first airing on Sunday night.

And this is the second season that the WB program "Charmed," produced by Spelling Television, replays on AOL Time Warner's TNT cable network. "Charmed" runs on TNT two nights after its initial Sunday night airing on the WB.

The WB also is rerunning the same episodes of its Monday prime-time show "Everwood," and its Tuesday hit "Smallville" on Sunday nights.

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