Star Trek The Next Generation is heading back to where it all began. Today CBS announced they have sold reruns of Next Generation for broadcast syndication in most of the country for the Fall 2009 season. Although TNG is currently in reruns on cable, it has not been available for broadcast syndication in eight years.
TNG back on regular TV
Starting in the Fall of 1987, Star Trek The Next Generation became a pioneer by becoming a hit hour-long drama broadcast in syndication instead of on a regular broadcast network. The premiere "Encounter at Farpoint" pulled in an historic 27 million viewers on September 28th, 1987. TNG went on to win 18 Emmys and was the first ever syndicated series to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.
Now in 2009 TNG returns to its old stomping ground. In a statement, President of Sales for CBS Television Distribution said:
Star Trek The Next Generation was a groundbreaking show when it first premiered in syndication and was the highest-rated series in the STAR TREK franchise. It also has an extremely successful track record in cable so stations are excited to add this proven brand to their lineups.
Unlike the remastered Star Trek The Original Series, which airs weekly in syndication currently, TNG is in ‘strip syndication,’ meaning there will be five episodes per week. CBS has not released a list of stations beyond saying TNG is currently cleared in 83% of the country, including 29 of the top 30 markets and that Tribune, Sinclair, CBS and LIN stations are among those signing up. A spokesperson for CBS also confirmed that this package will be for the original show in standard definition, and not a new ‘remastered’ version of the show.
The broadcast syndication run of Star Trek The Next Generation starts in the Fall of 2009. TNG continues to air on SciFi and WGN America just added the show to it schedule as well (see TrekMovie story).
TNG back then
If you want to feel nostalgic, take a look at these behind the scenes promo for TNG from Entertainment Tonight, aired February 1987.
And here is a 1987 promotional trailer for the show