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'70s Lives on in Syndie

Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That '70s Show has proved a strong entry in syndication, skewing young and entering the rankings near the top of the list.

It's the fourth-highest-rated off-net sitcom on the air in adults 18-34 season-to-date, behind powerhouses Warner Bros.'Friends, Sony's Seinfeld and King World's Everybody Loves Raymond. It is fifth in adults 18-49, just behind Warner Bros.'Will & Grace.

"A lot of our 18-49 viewers come from 18-34, so it's a great show for advertisers looking for young adults," says Robert Dubelko, co-president and chief operating officer of Carsey-Werner-Mandabach.

Around three-quarters of That '70s Show's audience comprises viewers 12-49, Dubelko says, which is the "highest concentration of that audience of any off-net show out there. In the 18-49 demo, this show has been the best performer of time-period improvements in the past seven years of any show launched in syndication, even Friends."

Stations believed in the show from the beginning, Dubelko says, and all but two stations in the top 50 markets double-run the show, 40 of them in access. According to Carsey-Werner, when the show is double-run in access, it builds on its lead-in by 133% in adults 18-49.

The show runs mostly on WB and UPN affiliates, with several Fox stations in the mix. The show airs on Fox-owned WFLD-TV Chicago, Fox owned WNYW-TV New York, and Viacom owned KCOP-TV Los Angeles, a UPN affiliate.

On independent KICU-TV San Francisco, the show has improved its access time periods at 7 and 7:30 p.m. in adults 18-49, by 160% and 125%, respectively. On Viacom's UPN affiliate WSBK-TV Boston, That '70s Show improved the access time periods by 300% and 31%, respectively.

On KCOP-TV, the show has improved its 7 p.m. time period by 170%. The station also runs it at 6:30 p.m., where its ratings performance is flat vs. last year.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.