The CW series finale of Reaper airs tonight, but ABC Studios is trying to keep the show alive in first run syndication, so it may not be the death of the show quite yet.
While Reaper will air on the CW no more after tonight, its production company ABC Studios is trying to sell the show into first run syndication. If ABC Studios is successful, new Reaper episodes will be produced, and for fans in the local markets where the syndicated episodes air, the show will continue on pretty much as before.
If you read back through my CW Renew/Cancel posts, you’ll see that Reaper had ratings competitive with the low end of the surviving CW shows. Sadly, it’s demographic mix didn’t fit the female 18-34 target that the CW is currently after, so it was doomed to leave the CW. If the syndication deal works it would resurrect the show on many of the very same CW stations because the network just handed back Sunday night to its local affiliates.
The potential irony (and egg on the face of CW chief Dawn Ostroff) of Reaper being more successful off the CW than on it isn’t lost on our friend and frequent commenter, Nick C.
Note: First run syndication (currently underway for shows like Legend of the Seeker) is different from repeat syndication (for shows like Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, and for this year’s casualty, The Unit) in that instead of simply replaying old episodes, new episodes are produced season by season as long as the syndication deal is in effect.