100 episodes

100th episodeenough episodes100th overall episode100 total episodes100-episode milestone100th episode special94 to Syndicationat least four seasonsenough episodes for syndicationenough episodes for the show to enter reruns
In the U.S. television industry, 100 episodes is the traditional threshold for a television series to enter syndicated reruns.wikipedia
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Broadcast syndication

syndicatedsyndicationfirst-run syndication
In the U.S. television industry, 100 episodes is the traditional threshold for a television series to enter syndicated reruns.
A show usually enters off-network syndication when it has built up about four seasons' worth or between 80 and 100 episodes, though for some genres the number could be as low as 65.

Clip show

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Chappelle's Show entered syndication despite only producing 33 episodes, five of which were clip shows.
Clip shows are often played before series finales, or once syndication becomes highly likely.

Rerun

rerunsre-runrepeat
In the U.S. television industry, 100 episodes is the traditional threshold for a television series to enter syndicated reruns.
Often about 100 episodes (four to five seasons' worth) are required for a weekly series to be rerun in daily syndication (at least four times a week).

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star TrekThe Original SeriesOriginal Series
The original Star Trek series had only 79 episodes available when its network run ended in 1969, but after its considerable success in syndication, it spawned multiple feature films and more than six spin-off series.
Most shows require at least four seasons for syndication, because otherwise not enough episodes are available for daily stripping.

Friday night death slot

death slotFriday nightFriday nights
Shows that are approaching the 88-episode syndication milestone while suffering from poor ratings are often moved to graveyard slots on Friday or Saturday in order to burn off remaining episodes.
Despite encountering lower ratings after its move, Fringe was renewed for a fourth season, and later for a shortened final fifth season to allow the creators to complete the story arc they had set out at the start of the program as well as to reach 100 episodes, allowing the show to be resold in syndication.

Mama's Family

Eric BrownBuzz HarperEllen Jackson
Mama's Family was put into syndication despite having only 35 episodes at the time of its cancellation; the surprise success of the show in summer reruns and syndication prompted the syndicator to rush the show back into production, which led to an additional 95 episodes aired over four seasons in first-run syndication.
According to Lawrence, who would reprise Mama on stage for many years thereafter, the series ended because the series had reached the standard threshold of 100 episodes and no longer needed to produce any more.

Strip programming

strippedstripstripping
One hundred episodes are advantageous for stripped syndication because it allows for 20 weeks of weekday reruns (depending on the number of episodes produced once the program debuts in syndication) without repeating an episode, and such shows can be sold for higher per-episode pricing.
Once a series attained five seasons (which would push the show over the 100 episodes threshold), it would be a full six months before it would repeat.

Hondo (TV series)

HondoHondo and the ApachesHonda
Other examples include The Prisoner and Hondo, both successfully syndicated for more than 30 years despite having only 17 episodes produced.
The rule of thumb for syndication is at least 100 episodes, but Hondo, with only seventeen segments, became popular after it left the air and became the subject of an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Super Bowl counterprogramming

counterprogrammingairedalternative to the halftime show
Unaired episodes from the third season were broadcast alongside fourth season episodes from October 2009 through June 2010 (a total of 37 episodes), including four new episodes airing in a Christmas Day "marathon" and two new episodes being scheduled against Super Bowl XLIV with the knowledge that these episodes would have minuscule ratings.

Seinfeld

Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmocurseeponymous sitcom
The show produced enough episodes to air in reruns in syndication for several years, something the other shows did not achieve.

8 Simple Rules

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter8 Simple Rules (For Dating My Teenage Daughter)C. J. Barnes
Such was the case with 8 Simple Rules, a sitcom that lasted three seasons and 76 episodes.
While 8 Simple Rules ratings were well above those of the surrounding TGIF shows during its third season, ABC cancelled it due to the perceived inability to sell reruns of the show into syndication (a fourth season would have given the show the 100 episodes necessary to enter daily syndication).

Workweek and weekend

weekendweekdayweekends
One hundred episodes are advantageous for stripped syndication because it allows for 20 weeks of weekday reruns (depending on the number of episodes produced once the program debuts in syndication) without repeating an episode, and such shows can be sold for higher per-episode pricing.

Conventional wisdom

Received viewreceived wisdomaccepted wisdom
It is unclear when conventional wisdom came to decide that 100 episodes was the ideal.

Life with Elizabeth

One of the first series made specifically for syndication, the 1953–55 sitcom Life with Elizabeth, purposely ended its run after only 65 episodes, concerned that producing more would saturate the market and reduce the syndication package's value.

Production company

productionproduction companiesTelevision Production
Shows of limited profitability during their first run will still prove to be viable to the production company if they can last 100 episodes.

WKRP in Cincinnati

WKRPSteve CarlisleMama Carlson
WKRP in Cincinnati was a major success in syndication despite having only produced 90 episodes, eventually prompting 47 additional episodes to be produced a decade after the original ended.

List of WKRP in Cincinnati episodes

episode of ''WKRP in CincinnatiHoodlum RockHotel Oceanview
WKRP in Cincinnati was a major success in syndication despite having only produced 90 episodes, eventually prompting 47 additional episodes to be produced a decade after the original ended.

The New WKRP in Cincinnati

47 additional episodesNew WKRP in CincinnatiNew WKRP in Cincinnati, The
WKRP in Cincinnati was a major success in syndication despite having only produced 90 episodes, eventually prompting 47 additional episodes to be produced a decade after the original ended.

The Monkees (TV series)

The MonkeesMonkeestelevision series
The Monkees, a show that lasted only 58 episodes and two seasons, went on to be rerun extensively in the decades that followed, with interest in the series being revived in the 1980s when the series was rerun on cable.

The Honeymooners

Ralph KramdenEd NortonHoneymooners
The Honeymooners was a series spun off in 1955-56 from sketches of the same name that aired on The Jackie Gleason Show, an hour-long variety program (1952–55).

The Jackie Gleason Show

Cavalcade of StarsJackie Gleason ShowAmerican Scene Magazine
The Honeymooners was a series spun off in 1955-56 from sketches of the same name that aired on The Jackie Gleason Show, an hour-long variety program (1952–55).

1956–57 United States network television schedule

1956-57 season1956–19571956–57 season
While only 39 episodes of The Honeymooners were produced, there were enough Honeymooners sketches from The Jackie Gleason Show (which ran again in the 1956-57 season and would be revived in the 1960s) to compile a syndication package with over 100 episodes.

Clueless (TV series)

Cluelesstelevision seriestelevision series of the same name
More recently, Clueless had reasonable success in syndication, especially on cable, even though only 62 episodes had been produced by the time the series ended in 1999.

1998–99 United States network television schedule

1998–19991998–991998–99 season
More recently, Clueless had reasonable success in syndication, especially on cable, even though only 62 episodes had been produced by the time the series ended in 1999.

Chappelle's Show

The Chappelle ShowChappelle ShowNegrodamus
Chappelle's Show entered syndication despite only producing 33 episodes, five of which were clip shows.