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SoapNet Gets 'O.C.,’ 'Tree’

Burbank, Calif.— Teen-tinged soap operas The O.C. and One Tree Hill will make it into young adulthood on the tube.

SoapNet, now in nearly 57 million homes, reached an agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution last week for the rights to all four seasons of The O.C., which will air the last of its 92 original installments on Fox Feb. 22, and 88 episodes of One Tree Hill. SoapNet also holds the rights for a fifth season of Tree, which initially aired on The WB, should it be renewed by the CW. Deal terms were not disclosed.

SoapNet will strip the shows weekdays in late afternoon timeslots, beginning April 9: Tree will run at 5 p.m., followed by The O.C. at 6 p.m.

While the cable network has long carried primetime soaps like Dallas, Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 — the latter of which is being switched from the aforementioned timeslots to serve as the 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. lead-in for the service’s latest acquisitions — the deal marks the first time that the network has reached for series that are currently in their first-run nighttime runs.

The O.C. and One Tree Hill will resonate with our viewers and live perfectly alongside the top-five-rated daytime soaps and our other acquired primetime dramas,” SoapNet general manager Deborah Blackwell said in a prepared statement.