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MyNetworkTV snags syndication rights to 'The Walking Dead,' will air this fall

AMC's 'The Walking Dead' hits syndication this fall.
AMC's 'The Walking Dead' hits syndication this fall.

According to a Variety report on Wednesday, Fox-owned MyNetworkTV has secured syndication rights to AMC’s “The Walking Dead” starting this fall.

Under the syndication agreement, MyNetworkTV will broadcast two “Walking Dead” episodes from previous seasons one night per week.

Because MyNetworkTV has to comply with FCC regulations, the episodes it airs will be edited for violent and sexual content. AMC, which airs the zombie apocalypse drama first-run, is not subject to these regulations.

Formed in 2006, MyNetworkTV is run by 20th TV and reaches 97 percent of TV households in the U.S., including KCOP-13 in Los Angeles and WWOR-9 in New York City.

“We are fired up that MyNetworkTV will be the exclusive broadcast home to ‘The Walking Dead,’” said 20th TV president Greg Meidel. “As we enter the 2014 upfronts, the blockbuster program, which breaks the mold of conventional television, further enhances 20th Television’s media sales slate of hit comedies, dramas and first-run programming.”

Originally, Fox intended to compete with the CW network by producing original programming on MyNetworkTV, but early experiments went poorly and the plan was scrapped.

“The Walking Dead” deal has breathed new life into MyNetworkTV, proving its bosses aren’t ready to give up making a go of the syndication giant.

Personal Take

With “The Walking Dead” available on Netflix’s streaming video service and in frequent reruns on AMC, it’s confusing why a big deal is being made about the show becoming available in syndication.

There was a time when a show moving into syndication was a big deal, but with cable TV and Netflix, most of those who want to see the show already can.

Granted, not all of the public subscribes to cable TV, but at least 12 million “Walking Dead” fans do, which has made “The Walking Dead” the top-rated Sunday night program for most of this season – traditional networks included.

As a traditionalist, it will be good to see “The Walking Dead” on a free local TV, but when it comes down to it, Netflix and AMC are better options when looking to scratch your zombie itch.

Then again, syndication can only grow the already-huge audience “The Walking Dead” has built.

Carry on with the deal, boys.

MyNetworkTV programming airs on KMYU Channel 12 in Provo.

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