‘Closer,’ ‘Trace’ Sold in 85% of U.S. Markets

Feb 11, 2009  •  Post A Comment

“The Closer” and a third cycle of “Without a Trace” have cleared 85% of the country with multiyear deals, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution announced today.
Both shows, set to air in fall 2010, have deals locked in until 2012, the distributor said.
“Closer” is sold to Fox Television Stations in 16 major markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Joining those clearances are stations owned by CBS, Raycom, Capitol Broadcasting, Local TV, Hearst-Argyle Television, Tribune, Young, LIN TV, Turner, Newport Television, Weigel, Post-Newsweek, Four Points Media Group, Meredith, Cox, Grant, Gannett, McKinnon, Freedom, ComCorp, Bonten Media Group, Barrington, Hubbard and ACME Television.
CBS Television Stations in 18 markets, including New York and Los Angeles, have purchased a third cycle of “Trace,” along with stations from nearly two dozen other groups.
The sale of “Closer” and “Trace” build on the trend of stations turning to off-network reruns that are familiar to audiences, rather than risk money on unproven properties. Other crime programs that have made the leap to syndication include CBS Domestic Television’s “CSI” and NBC Universal Television Distribution’s “Law & Order” franchises.
As distributors remain financially cautious about first-run content, the appetite for off-net material is expected to grow, even for weekend hour-long dramas like “Closer” and “Trace.” That demand also is reflected in hour-long off net shows like CBS’ “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and NBC Universal’s “Law & Order: SVU” being prepared to air as Monday-Friday shows in 2009.
“More then ever, stations are on the lookout for quality off-network hours to augment and enhance their existing franchises,” Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, said in a statement. “We have been in the market with ‘The Closer’ and the third cycle of ‘Without a Trace’ for less then a month. The station reaction has been tremendous.”
(Editor: Baumann. Updated 5 p.m. to add fifth and sixth paragraph.)

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