Thursday, November 5, 2009


In what might be an industry record, CBS' freshman drama series "NCIS: Los Angeles" has been sold into syndication after seven weeks on the air.

CBS TV Distribution has licensed the show to USA Network, which has enjoyed great success airing the off-network run of franchise flagship "NCIS."

The spinoff is going for roughly $2.5 million per episode. USA will have the right to air the show weekly beginning in Sept. 2011 and will start stripping the episode in 2013.

The unusually quick deal is testament to the popularity of the "NCIS" brand -- and the ability for top cable networks to capitalize on crime procedurals in syndication. In its seventh season, "NCIS" has grown to become the most-watched drama series on broadcast, while its USA repeats are the most-watched syndicated crime drama, averaging 3.5 million viewers.

Ratings for "Los Angeles" have been consistently strong on Tuesday nights this fall (averaging 17 million viewers and a 4.2 rating) and will make for a natural pairing with the flagship series on USA. Though it might seem like a risk to invest in the syndicated run of a series before its even earned a signal renewal, cable networks made similar gambles with "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY" during their first-year runs.

CBS' "CSI: NY" sold into syndication during its debut year in 2004 to Spike TV a couple months after its debut for a then-record $1.9 million. "Miami" sold late in its first season in 2003 to A&E for $1 million per episode.

Other notable crime drama sales: "Law & Order: SVU" going to USA for $1.5 million, "Without a Trace" to TNT for $1.4 million and "CSI" going to Spike for $1.6 million.

No comments:

Post a Comment