MTV Enters Repurposing 'Fastlane'

MTV: Music Television will throw its hat into the repurposing arena when it debuts episodes of the Warner Bros. action series Fastlane
days after they premiere on the Fox broadcast network.

Also on the repurposing front, NBC will add four additional episodes of Court TV's Forensic Files
to its Saturday primetime lineup in October. It's unclear, however, whether ABC will continue to repurpose USA Network's Monk
next year, now that the basic network has decided to renew the popular freshman detective series.

Fastlane, which stars Peter Facinelli (The Scorpion King) and MTV alumnus Bill Bellamy (Any Given Sunday) as undercover Los Angeles cops, will air on MTV twice weekly on Sunday and Monday nights beginning Oct. 13 — at least eight days after bowing on Fox, said MTV officials.

Unlike other broadcast-to-cable repurposing deals, MTV's Fastlane
agreement has a number of on-air marketing requirements. Sources said during its Fastlane
plays, MTV must run one 30-second spot touting Fox's carriage of the action/drama skein, as well as a 30-second spot promoting other Warner Bros. content.

The media value of the ads, coupled with the reported $50,000-per-episode licensing fee deal, puts the overall value of the agreement at more than $100,000, sources said.

Also unique to the deal is that it only covers a single season of the series, even if the show breaks out for MTV or Fox, sources said.

Without detailing terms, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution president Eric Frankel said, "We like the idea of repurposing if it's a large fee with a big back-end commitment, or we like it if it's a reasonable fee with a short term and big marketing push, which is what we have for Fastlane."

For NBC's part, the network — buoyed by its successful summer run with Forensic Files
— will air an additional four hours of Court TV's crime series, beginning on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19. Air dates for the additional episodes have yet to be announced.

NBC generated a 5.8 rating with the series during its four-week run (Aug. 25-Sept. 15).

For Court TV, which averaged around a 1.0 rating for Forensic
during NBC's repurposing experiment — slightly above its 0.8 average rating through Sept. 22 — the extension provides further exposure to the series and the network, according to president Henry Schleiff.

Meanwhile, USA's 12-episode renewal of Monk
does not yet include a repurposing window for ABC, although the broadcaster still holds an option to air repeat episodes.

After averaging a 5.4 rating for four summer runs of the popular drama series, ABC announced two weeks ago it would repurpose eight additional Monk
episodes during its first season. The first episode of the extension ran last Thursday.

A USA spokesman dismissed reports that ABC also holds the right to flip the repurposing windows and air the episodes before USA.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.