DirecTV has jumped in to save the Glenn Close Emmy-winning legal drama "Damages," pairing up with producer Sony Pictures Television for a 20-episode order that will air on DirecTV’s 101 network, the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker blog reports.
The order represents two seasons — the show’s fourth and fifth — of 10 episodes each, which will be produced in early 2011, the story says. The agreement comes after the show was reportedly too pricey for FX, the network which originally aired the show. John Landgraf, president and general manager of FX Networks, said in a statement that "in order to have a future, the show needed DirecTV and we are thrilled they stepped in…."
According to the article, "The satellite operator has also acquired the rights to the show’s first three seasons…"
When "Damages" debuted in July, 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic Tom Shales was among a number of critics who gave the show high praise. Shales wrote, " ‘Damages’ is also emphatically, and almost torturously, high-tension, and the pilot script is one of the most artfully crafted since the debut back in the 20th century of ‘The Sopranos.’ "
Neither Glenn Close nor co-star Rose Byrne are taking pay cuts as part of the deal, report Meg James and Joe Flint in a separate Los Angeles Times article.
The deal will also allow Sony to eventually sell the show into syndication, because other cable channels would have been unlikely to bite without four seasons, the article says.
It is unlikely the show will get the same type of ratings on DirecTV as on FX, since DirecTV is available in 18.6 million homes while FX is available in 90 million homes.