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Program Partners Gets 60% Clearance for Degrassi

On the eve of the NATPE convention next month in Las Vegas, distributor Program Partners has cleared teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation (no, its not a Star Trek spinoff) in over 60% of the country for a fall 2007 launch.

Clearances include the Tribune group as well as stations from Belo, Clear Channel, Granite, Gray, Hubbard and Pegasus.

The off-digital cable series--MTV's N carries the show--is in its sixth season.

Ritch Colbert and Josh Raphaelson, the partners in Program Partners, say that the series meets the FCC's requirements for educational/informational programming.

While the show is being sold, and the majority of stations are running it,  as a Monday-Friday strip, Colbert and Raphaelson say some stations are stacking it on the weekends--running six half-hours in a block--to take care of their FCC-mandated three-hour kids TV programming minimums.