How many episodes before syndication?

I read the following paragraph about the sitcom Hot In Cleveland in an article and was wondering about the title question. I always thought it was 100 episodes.

“Hot in Cleveland,” TV Land’s first original sitcom starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, has also been greenlit by the network for a 24-episode fourth season, it was announced today. A syndication deal was recently reached for “Hot in Cleveland,” giving CBS Television Distribution the domestic distribution rights for the series. This season pickup would bring “Hot in Cleveland” to 80 total episodes.

Aren’t some shows started in syndication? I seem to recall Star Trek: The Next Generation was the first significant series to go this route, specifically avoiding entanglement with a broadcast network.

That’s first-run syndication I believe, the studio still produced approx 20-24 episodes a year and the syndicate stations aired once a week.

I believe that the OP is referring to daily rerun syndication.

I don’t believe that there’s a ‘magic number’ for that anymore, though reaching 100 is still considered to increase your chances for a deal. Some shorter shows get enough interest, apparently. Some shows have reached the 100 episode mark and still aren’t in daily reruns. Probably test marketing and the popularity of DVD box sets (not to mention Hulu, Netflix on demand, etc,) affect the calculus - if the PTB believe that most of the people interested in watching ‘Angel’ during the afternoon already have access to it, they’re not going to be so interested in paying for syndication rights.

Shows started in syndication back in the 1950s; best-known examples are The Adventures of Superman and Highway Patrol.

This faded out in the 60s. Around 1971, the FCC cut prime time so it began at 8:00 instead of 7:30 with the idea of encouraging more syndicated shows, but it only encouraged more game shows and the like. But around that time there was an attempt to do some purely syndicated series, but nothing of note caught on. It wasn’t until the 80s that shows like ST:TNG began to gain success as purely syndicated.

Usually, 100 episodes was considered the threshold number to make up a syndication package, but that’s just a rule of thumb.

Oh, I realize that, it’s just that the syndication rules have changed since ST:TNG started in 1987 and, as you say, magic numbers may no longer apply.

Interesting responses. I’ll have to update my brain’s trivia folder. :slight_smile:

There’s actually a ton of TV shows that were put into daily reruns in syndication while having less than 100 shows. Here’s a lengthy board topic on this subject. 100 episodes is just an ideal, but never has really been a hard and fast rule.
One thing that may have helped “Hot In Cleveland” in syndication is there is a real shortage of sitcoms to syndicate. We all know how reality shows have dominated network TV, but those shows have zero value as reruns. That’s why such low rated shows like 30 Rock have been successfully syndicated recently; there’s so little choice out there.

TVtropes says the magic number is 65, because that allows a show rerun 5 days a week to go 13 weeks before repeating.

Whether that’s true or not, it’s definitely less than 100. The Big Bang Theory went into syndication five months ago, but the 100th episode airs tomorrow night.

Usually it’s around 4 seasons, but there are always going to be exceptions. Like the Monkees, at a mere two seasons or Gilligan’s Island at three. Of course back then seasons sometimes had a lot more episodes, up to 33 or so, compared to today’s 22 ep standard.

Hell, Star Trek, the godfather of all wildly successful syndicated shows, only had 79 or 80 (depending on how you count) episodes over three seasons and it found itself being syndicated.

The Honeymooners had only 39.