DirecTV, Sony To Air Fourth, Fifth Seasons Of 'Damages'

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For Damages, DirecTV is playing a "rescue me" gambit for Patty Hewes and the award-winning legal drama.
DirecTV and Sony Pictures will bring back the Glenn Close-starrer for 20 more episodes, constituting a fourth and fifth season for the series, which will bow on the top DBS provider's The 101 Network in 2011.
The new episodes will be produced early next year and feature two-time Emmy winner Close, reprising her role as the tough-minded Hewes, Emmy nominee for best supporting actress Rose Byrne in a drama, as well as the other principle characters. Deal terms were not disclosed.

The revival for FX's ratings-challenged series -- Damages averaged just 1.3 million watchers during its third campaign -- will not play in a manner similar to DirecTV's helping hand to Friday Night Lights. There, new seasons of the series aired on DirecTV first, before gaining their window on NBC, the original home to the high school football drama.
With Damages, The 101 Network will be the sole home for the new seasons. The channel also picked up the right to the series' first three campaigns.
In addition to Byrne, Damages received four other Emmy Award nominations for its third season -- Close for outstanding lead actress, Martin Short for outstanding supporting actor, Ted Danson for outstanding guest actor in and Lily Tomlin for outstanding guest actress.
"We're excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television as we breathe new life into this outstanding drama," said Patty Ishimoto, general manager of The 101 Network and vice president of entertainment for DirecTV in announcing the pick-up. "It's a win for our customers because only they will be able to see these new episodes and another great step forward for DirecTV as we continue to build our growing portfolio of exclusive, award winning programming."
Added Zack Van Amburg, president, programming and production, Sony Pictures Television: "We're thrilled to have a new home for the show and our team of award-winning writers, producers and actors will not only maintain that standard of excellence, but deliver our best seasons yet,"

John Landgraf, president and general manager of FX was happy that the show found a new home.

"FX was very proud to have developed one of the best scripted series on television, but, in order to have a future, the show needed DirecTV and we are thrilled they stepped in," said Landgraf, who also heads FX Productions. "Sony Pictures Television is a great production partner and we at FX Productions are excited for these next two seasons."

The series earned seven Emmy Award nominations in each of its first two seasons and Close becoming the first actress from a basic-cable series to win the Emmy for lead actress in a drama and

Zeljko Ivanek the first actor from a basic-cable series to win the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor. Damages was also the initial basic-cable series to take home the Emmy for outstanding casting.

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