Discovery Out to Sell Crime Series

Feb 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Communications is investigating ways to syndicate its vast library of forensics programming.

Shows such as “FBI Files,” “Sensing Murder,” “Most Evil” and “It Takes a Thief” are being taken off Discovery Channel, where they have been a staple. The unsolved mystery: Where will the programs end up?

The network also has shed its popular mechanic shows such as “Monster Garage” and “American Chopper” to restore its brand as a wholesome science and nature channel. Discovery said moving the crime shows was more about the money, though.

The company denied that the shows would be moved to the Discovery Times channel, which is being reformatted after the dissolution of Discovery’s joint venture with The New York Times Co.

Discovery considers syndication a potential source of significant value for the forensics shows and will move aggressively to generate revenue from them, a company executive said. The task of finding the best way to monetize the thousands of hours of forensics programming falls to Joel Berman, the former president of worldwide television distribution for Paramount Pictures and CBS/Paramount Television who was hired as a consultant as part of new Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s corporate reorganization.

Mr. Berman will be looking at broadcast, cable and international outlets for the programming.

Discovery will also look for syndication strategies for programming in other genres once the forensics shows get placed.