’48 Hours’ to be featured in national syndication in major markets

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CBS has announced it will be offering “48 Hours” via national syndication.

The show, which currently airs new episodes on Saturday nights, and focuses on true crime, will be syndicated by CBS Media Ventures.

So far, CBS-owned stations as well as those owned by Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair, Fox, Gray Television, Cox, Tegna and Scripps have picked up the series for daily airings.

On those CBS-owned stations, the network is placing the show in primetime in 10 markets, including seven of the eight stations that are preparing to drop their CW affiliation in the fall of 2023, though it did not indicate specific stations.

The network will draw on existing content for this offering, with its announcement calling the episodes being offered as “updated.”

Jerika Duncan and Jonathan Vigliotti will anchor the syndicated episodes.

NBCUniversal already syndicates updated episodes of “Dateline” nationally, including airings on some of its owned stations. “Dateline” has evolved from a general-interest newsmagazine offering to a true crime-focused one, billing itself as the “True Crime Original.”

In select markets, “Dateline” helps fill out an afternoon schedule with a gap left after “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” ended. “The Kelly Clarkson Show” filled DeGeneres’ spot in many of these markets but no new show was brought on to backfill the schedule.

ABC News sells updated versions of “20/20” to Warner Bros. Discovery’s OWN and Investigation Discovery, largely focusing on episodes with a true crime angle.

The effort is likely to help stations fill schedules with comparatively inexpensive content that is still likely to have a fairly broad appeal. Like both “Dateline” and “20/20,” many episodes of “48 Hours” are also relatively evergreen in that they focus on crimes that have been largely been investigated and adjudicated or gone unsolved — and therefore are unlikely to require substantial updates. In cases where there have been changes in the cases featured, Duncan and Vigliotti can either provide brief updates on-camera or the show can add on-screen text-based updates as needed.

In most cases it is also relatively irrelevant when the events of the crime story featured played out — and any context can be added by anchors, on-screen updates or by tweaking correspondent voiceovers.

The program’s entry into syndication comes at a key time when CBS-owned CW affiliates drop their affiliation with the network and will need to fill gaps in the schedule left by that change.