Court, Broadcasters Team Up On Content


Courtroom Television Network last week forged unusual programming alliances with three broadcast outlets, including ABC News and the flagship NBC- and CBS-owned TV stations in New York.

In the first deal, Court TV has commissioned two additional original hours of programming from ABC News'Nightline,which will focus on crime-and-punishment issues.

As a result, on Oct. 30 and 31 Court TV'sCrime Serieswill airDeath Penalty: Who Lives, Who Dies, two one-hour segments drawn fromNightline'sfour-part series,Crime & Punishment: A Matter of Life and Death.

Nightlineanchor Ted Koppel will host Court TV'sCrime Storiesbroadcasts at 10 P.M.., which will examine how Virginia, Illinois, Texas and Colorado view the death penalty.

In Court TV's second broadcast partnership, the cable network and WCBS-TV, the CBS Corp. owned-and-operated TV station in New York, will share original editorial content.

Starting this month, Court TV will supplement WCBS' 11 P.M.. newscast once a week with a series of signature segments from the cable network. That will include snippets from Court TV's shows such asCrime Stories, Mugshots, Forensic FilesandHollywood & Crimes.In addition, segments from the seriesCrier TodayandPros and Cons,as well as Court TV's trial coverage, will also appear regularly on WCBS.

"We are pleased to be reaching a brand new audience for Court TV on WCBS," Art Bell, executive vice president of programming and marketing for Court TV, said in a prepared statement.

And in its final deal last week Court TV-which posted a whopping 0.7 primetime rating in the third quarter, up 75 percent-said it would co-fund a series of youth anti-violence public-service announcements with WNBC-TV in New York. The PSAs will try to discourage bullying and encourage school children to be more than bystanders when bullying takes place.

School bullying is one of the key issues addressed in Court TV's specialSafe Passage: Voices from the Middle School,which will air live on Oct. 17. Twenty-five middle school students from across the U.S. will participate inSafe Passage, to be co-hosted by Court TV anchor Catherine Crier and Al Roker of NBC'sToday.

As it did last year, the NBC television network will distribute Court TV's one-hour telecast ofSafe Passageto all of its TV-station affiliates. Several of the broadcasters, including WNBC, have committed to carrying the special either live or via tape delay.