FX to Offer The Shield Mini-Show


Pasadena, Calif. -- FX will create a mini-episode of gritty cop series The Shield to air on-demand and on video-broadband platforms prior to the show's sixth-season premiere in early 2007, according to president and general manager John Landgraf.

The show, which will be dubbed The Shield 5.5,is similar to the Rescue Me 2.5 video short released in May prior to the third-season premiere of the network's popular Denis Leary-produced firefighter series. That show, which featured Leary and the show's cast, drew 1.5 million viewers through cable video-on-demand and on the Internet via AOL, network officials said.

It's unclear whether The Shield'sfull cast will appear in the short video. The network ordered 10 episodes for its sixth season and 13 episodes for its seventh and final season.

FX also announced Wednesday the renewal of Rescue Me for a fourth season during its Television Critics Association session here. Production on the 13-episode season will begin early next year, with new shows airing on the network by the second quarter of 2007.

The current season of the show is averaging 2.9 million viewers, up 10% season-to-date versus last year.