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American Idol Rewind Moves to Fox Stations

It didn’t take long for Trifecta Entertainment to find a home for American Idol Rewind, the weekly hour produced by FremantleMedia North America and formerly distributed by Tribune Entertainment, which said last month that it was exiting the distribution business.

The reality hour -- comprised of repackaged and never-before-seen footage from Fox’s mega-hit singing show, American Idol -- will appear on 13 Fox stations come fall, including in New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; and Houston. The deal calls for double-runs, which will likely appear on Fox’s duopoly stations in those markets.

The deal comes right before American Idol’s anticipated seventh season premieres on the network, with the first round of auditions set to open the show Tuesday.

For the past two seasons, the Tribune stations have comprised the show’s largest broadcast group, although it has aired on a few Fox-owned stations. American Idol Rewind is sold on an all-barter basis, with an even seven-minute local/national split. Trifecta will sell the national advertising.

Trifecta -- created by a team of former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executives and led by Hank Cohen since 2005 -- approached FremantleMedia some time ago about distributing some of Fremantle’s product, said David Shall, executive vice president of business operations and general counsel.

“Trifecta really pressed us in that meeting,” he said. “When this came around, Trifecta was the distributor that expressed the most enthusiasm. They had very good vision on how to capture the momentum of the series.”

In season two, momentum for American Idol Rewind is trending downward, according to Nielsen Media Research, with the show falling off season-to-date 37% in households, 38% among both women 18-49 and women 25-54 and 40% among women 18-34, the demo with whom the show expects to fare best.

Overall, American Idol Rewind is the fifth-highest-rated syndicated weekly hour among households, women 18-49 and women 25-54, behind CBS’ CSI: Miami, NBC Universal’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Warner Bros.’ Without a Trace and Cold Case.

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.