Fox Family Channel has acquired the exclusive off-network
cable rights to the WB Network's 7th Heaven and NBC's primetime hit Providence, officials
said last week.
Providence, 7th Heaven and a third acquisition, Early
Edition, comprise a trio of shows that Fox Family pursued because, in keeping with the
channel's brand, they are contemporary, family oriented and adult-driven, Fox Family
president Rich Cronin said. Many other broadcast network shows are just too edgy for Fox
Family, he added.
Fox Family was competing against Pax TV, among other cable
competitors, for 7th Heaven and Providence, according to Cronin.
Aaron Spelling's 7th Heaven, which Fox
Family has acquired from Paramount, will start on the cable network in fall 2002 and will
be stripped, Cronin said.
"We thought it was a perfect fit for us," he
Fox Family is paying a whopping $700,000 per episode to NBC
Studios for Providence, which will begin airing this August on the network,
probably twice a week. Fox Family plans to strip the series in 2002. The
$700,000-per-episode price tag is the most Fox Family has ever paid for such program fare,
less than the $500,000 per episode it shelled out for Early Edition.
Early Edition reruns will debut on Fox Family in May,
and that show will be stripped.
Popular, younger-skewing off-network shows will help
attract viewers to Fox Family, which can use these series as venues to air promotions for
its original programming.
"We're finally starting to get platforms upon which we
can launch our original series," Cronin said. "Providence is a really
Fox Family has acquired exclusive cable rights for the
three shows, which will still be sold in syndication.
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