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.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.