CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC has locked up "Fear Factor" through the 2006-07 season as part of a lucrative deal with distributor Endemol USA. The new pact includes an official pickup for the 2004-05 season (the show's fifth) with options for two subsequent seasons. NBC announced the news via press release earlier today.
The Peacock will reportedly pay between $1.25-$1.5 million per episode for the show's fifth season, up from its current $900,000 per episode license fee. The fee will escalate to between $1.7-$2.0 million should NBC renew the series through the length of its contract.
In addition, NBC's syndication arm has landed the off-network syndication rights to the series. With "Fear Factor" being one of the few reality shows that performs well in repeats, NBC Enterprises hopes to sell the series to cable and local stations beginning in fall 2004. Currently NBCE is targeting TBS, Spike TV, TLC and ABC Family for possible weekday runs. It's expected "Fear Factor" could garner up to $400,000 per episode on the back end, making it one of the most profitable reality shows in history.