Trivia

Hard

The Most Widely Used Method Of Scheduling Syndicated Television Is Called?

Bracketing
Stripping
Seasoning
Bookending
Photo of a vintage Philips television set.
Alf van Beem/Wikimedia

Answer: Stripping

Syndication is the process of taking a TV show and rebroadcasting it, usually on a different network than it originally aired, after the fact. If you watch a lot of syndicated TV, you might note that most syndicated TV is made up of older popular TV shows that happened to have a lot of seasons—that last bit isn’t accidental to their success in syndication, however, but pivotal to it.

When a TV show first airs, it usually airs once a week for a season, running until it is eventually canceled. When a show is syndicated, however, it is typically arranged in a scheduling format called “stripping or strip programming”, where the show is laid out in a continuous strip, airing every day at the same time. Longer-lived shows work better for this style of episode-a-day scheduling because the networks can strip out large blocks of programming (sometimes, in the case of syndicating very long running shows like Cheers or Frasier, stripping out entire broadcast seasons at once).

This is also why you rarely see short-lived TV shows in syndication, even if they had their fair share of viewers (and perhaps even a cult following): there simply isn’t enough material to pad out a scheduling strip.

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