6 thoughts on “Pop Culture References Dictionary – Syndication Bounce

  1. I imagine CHEERS and its spinoff FRAISER likely gained some degree of “syndication bounce” during their long runs.

    But for an animated example, I think DIC’s INSPECTOR GADGET gained something like that. The first season in 1983 hit that 65 episode syndication threshold right off. No new episodes were produced in 1984, but the show became popular enough that 21 new episodes were produced in the 1985-1986 season (despite the entire voice cast being replaced, aside for Don Adams and Frank Welker). The show remained so popular in syndication that CBS decided to add it to their Saturday morning line-up for 1991-1992 (during the peak of Ninja Turtles, their top show in that market and the centerpiece of their Saturday morning schedule). DIC responded by selling more merchandise, including trading cards and action figures, and even producing an animated Christmas TV movie later that year which was nominated for an Emmy (where it lost to BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES). Even 30 years after it ended, Gadget remained in syndication somewhere (such as Light TV or Qubo TV before both free digital stations ended; the latter in early 2021). That is insane longevity for a cartoon which wasn’t from Hanna-Barbera.

  2. I mentioned Family Guy in a previous post, but I’m not sure if it counts since it was officially canceled, took off in syndication, and then was brought back by the station that originally canceled it over a year after its cancelation.

  3. Syndication Bounce is also not uniquely an American occurrence; it can happen in other countries, too. Off the top of my head one of the best examples is the Japanese anime, LUPIN THE 3RD. Based off of the manga from 1967, it debuted on YTV in 1971 and was one of the first TV anime in Japan which was specifically aimed at adults. The ratings were poor for the first half of the season and it underwent a drastic change midway through, featuring the first directorial work of Hayao Miyazaki. But that didn’t help and it was canceled in 1972 after a mere 23 episodes.

    However, the series continued to air in syndication for 4-5 years and developed a cult following. This (along with a live action film adaptation) led to the creation of a second series, LUPIN THE 3RD: PART II (with the prior series retroactively considered “Part I”) on NTV in 1977. The “syndication bounce” resulted in a 3 season run of 155 episodes, as well as two theatrically animated films. The franchise would then endure with 27 TV specials, 8 more animated feature films, two OAV’s (direct-to-videos), and three more TV series (as well as a spinoff in 2012). It went from being canceled after one season to essentially being the Japanese equivalent to SCOOBY DOO (as in, an animated property that began in the 70’s and has endured in all the decades since in some form or another) all thanks to syndication bounce.

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