Friends, when it was on, and My Name Is Earl occasionally have had longer episodes than half an hour - say, 40 or 45 minutes. I presume other sitcoms have done the same. What happens to those episodes in syndication, when presumably uniformity of timing is demanded by those purchasing the show for rebroadcast? Are they not part of the series “package” when sold? Are the surplus minutes purposefully used for a subplot that can easily be jettisoned? Or are they painfully edited down? Don’t know that I’ve ever seen such an episode in syndication.
Since the supersizing is a relatively new phenomenon (I don’t recall it happening before this past season*), I don’t think there’s a standard procedure. Most likely, they will cut it down to a standard size and jettison some subplots.
*I’m not counting two-part episodes.
They used to do it with Friends, ages ago.
It’s probably just edited down in syndication. They don’t really have a problem killing the best simpsons gags, so cutting out a few more minutes of the show probably iisn’t a big deal.
They chop the crap out of the episode to fit it into the 30 minute time frame. This is really noticable on some reruns of Scrubs that appear on Comedy Central.
When Once More, With Feeling (BtVS) went into syndication, they just chopped it down wherever. They don’t care.