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‘American Idol’ heads to syndication

Format gives viewers a chance to ‘track each winner throughout the season’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“American Idol” fans can look forward to getting more than a once-a-year fix: beginning in September, past editions of Fox’s talent show will air in weekend syndication.

“American Idol Rewind” will premiere this fall with the first season of “American Idol” and will offer a “streamlined, enhanced program” with unseen footage and behind-the-scenes information, according to its producers and syndicator.

The recycled version was announced Thursday by FremantleMedia North America, which produces “American Idol” with 19 Entertainment, and Tribune Entertainment.

The reruns will give viewers their first chance to “track each winner throughout the season, from beginning to final performance,” Simon Fuller, creator of “American Idol,” said in a statement.

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“American Idol Rewind” has been cleared by Tribune and Sinclair stations representing more than half the country and nine of the top 10 media markets, according to Dick Askin, president and chief executive officer of Tribune Entertainment.

The original Fox series is holding strong in its fifth season, with the Wednesday debut episode ranking as the most-watched “Idol” season opener yet. Past winners include recording successes Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

Fox has avoided diluting its star performer by scheduling the series only once per season. Sister channel Fox Reality aired a “marathon” rerun of the 2005 season in the weeks leading up to the start of the new season.