'Reaper' may live on

Studio in talks with CW affiliates about syndication

Thought "Reaper" was dead?

Well, think again. Like some of the undead creatures on it, the quirky CW dramedy with a rabid fan base is refusing to die.

Sources said show producer ABC Studios is in talks with CW affiliate stations about continuing "Reaper" as a syndicated series for Sunday night.

The law-rated "Reaper" has been pretty much canceled at the CW. But most stations are said to love the series starring Brett Harrison as the Devil's bounty hunter.

So when the network recently decided to give Sunday night back to its affiliates, they started preliminary conversations with ABC Studios about possibly continuing the show with original episodes.

Sources said that ABC Studios also is exploring a possible afterlife for the cult series on cable.

Both scenarios are considered a longshot.

First, there is the economics issue as a syndicated series is generally produced on a lower budget than a network series.

Secondly, "Reaper" creators/executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have moved on, recently inking an overall deal with 20th TV.

And then there's Tyler Labine, the actor who plays Herrison's sidekick. He is set to star in the newly picked up Fox comedy series "Sons of Tucson." There are conflicting takes on whether Labine would be contractually obligated to "Reaper" if it changes formats from a network to a syndicated show.

But even if he is still tied to "Reaper," Labine headlines a new series, and if he is brought back to his old show against his will, that would be unfortunate for him and a big blow to "Tucson."

Since its midseason return for a second season, "Reaper" has averaged about a 1.0 rating in 18-49, ranking as the network's lowest-rated drama.

But with the network's current programming on Sundays consisting of "Jericho" returns and MGM library movies, averaging below a 0.5 in recent weeks, "Reaper" could potentially improve the slot.
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