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Cinema-TV Assistant Professor Derek Kompare Talks TV Reruns

Kompare shares his thoughts with NPR

The following excerpt is from the NPR.org article, “The Changing Economics Of TV Reruns.” Read the full article.

Cable channels are building identities on such original shows as USA's Royal Pains and AMC's Mad Men. The reruns they do pick have to go through a rigorous selection service.

"Cable networks have tried to become brands," says former Turner Entertainment Networks president Brad Siegel, who co-founded and runs the Gospel Music Channel. "And in that brand...they have created certain filters on the kinds of shows that when you put them all together, they sort of define a network."

Under Siegel's watch, TNT outbid the cable channel A&E for reruns of Law & Order.

So when TBS says it is "very funny," and TNT promises, "We know drama," each rerun that appears has to match the network's image. On TBS, Conan O'Brien's new late night show will be accompanied by Seinfeld reruns; on TNT, Kyra Sedgwick's The Closer sits cheek by jowl with Cold Case.

"These days there is certainly more cachet in developing original series, and I think ultimately they are seeking more profit for that too," says Derek Kompare, author of Rerun Nation: How Repeats Invented American Television and an assistant professor in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.

Read the full article.

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