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‘L&O’ Succeeds Via Varying Outlets

Dec 16, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The great experiment of the 2007-08 off-net syndication season has proved successful.
NBC Universal unleashed two series from its behemoth “Law & Order” franchise to stations during the fall, with “Law & Order: SVU” hitting weekend play and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” appearing as a strip.
With half-hour time periods so difficult to come by in recent years, the move to make “Criminal Intent” a strip proved a gutsy one for the distributor, which scored sales to Fox-owned stations in major markets.
The subsequent metered-market results from November sweeps show the series averaging a 1.4 household rating for the key stations, improving time periods on those stations by 10% vs. the same time periods in 2006, including New York (up 9%), Los Angeles (up 50%) and Chicago (up 38%).
The show seems to have found a hold with adults 25 to 54 in particular, boosting the demographic by at least 33% in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Detroit.
“‘Criminal Intent’ has proved to be a great player for stations, improving time periods, improving lead-ins, and they have been very pleased with the outcome thus far,” said Sean O’Boyle, senior VP and general sales manager for NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.
And despite its play on cable, “SVU” continues to pack a punch in syndication, tying “Cold Case” for the top spot among rookie weekly off-net series so far this season with a 2.3 rating. In metered markets, “SVU” has bolstered November sweeps performances by 45%, with increases in New York (83%), L.A. (200%) and Chicago (22%).
“This just goes to show that more exposure on different time periods, including cable, has only helped the profile of the franchise,” Mr. O’Boyle said.

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