'Real Housewives' Heading To Syndication In 2010

Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise is heading into syndication. The series brand featuring the exploits of wealthy women from Orange County to Atlanta will run weekdays on stations starting next fall.

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution said it has signed stations in 60% of the country to air the one-hour show, including NBC owned-and-operated outlets as well as those operated by groups such as Hearst and Sinclair.

All 10 NBC O&Os have picked up the series. So have Hearst stations in multiple top-20 markets, including Tampa and Sacramento.

Barry Wallach, head of NBCU domestic syndication, states that the franchise has the potential to be "a daytime hit" with "strong characters, terrific storytelling and escapism."

John Wallace, head of NBCU's owned stations, indicated in a statement that it could be a new type of afternoon soap -- a "series (that) will appeal to a new audience that is looking for something that stands out from the pack."

Word of NBCU's syndication sale was first reported by Broadcasting & Cable.

NBCU said that this past summer, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" ranked first in its Thursday 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. slot among all cable programs in adults and women 18-to-49.

The franchise launched in 2006 with an "Orange County" edition that seemed inspired by two successful series at the time: an MTV reality show about teenage life in Orange County, Calif. and ABC's "Desperate Housewives" drama.

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