Barely three weeks after settling a distribution lawsuit with News Corp.,
producer Steven Bochco's NYPD Blue series will appear on Courtroom
Television Network and Turner Network Television as early as this fall.
TNT and Court TV reached a distribution deal late Thursday with series
distributor Twentieth Television for off-network rights to the eight-year-old
series. Terms were not disclosed.
The deal comes three weeks after Bochco and News Corp. settled a lawsuit over
disputed syndicated rates.
Bochco initially sued News Corp. because he believed the company's previous
syndication deal with FX provided the sibling cable network with preferential
rates. According to reports, FX paid $400,000 each for 88 episodes of the series
in 1997. Bochco argued that the series would have earned much more had other
outlets been allowed to bid.
The settlement allowed Bochco to negotiate with other companies for
distribution of the popular series beginning this fall.
Court TV most likely won't begin airing the show until early 2002, chairman
and CEO Henry Schleiff said. It was unclear at press time when TNT would begin
airing the series.
Court TV has exclusive primetime and weekend rights to the series. 'We are
delighted to offer the exceptional award-winning series, NYPD Blue, to
our viewers who have come to expect the very best in crime and justice
programming on Court TV,' Schleiff said.
'NYPD Blue is a terrific complement to our programming slate,' TNT
executive vice president and general manager Steve Koonin said in a prepared
statement. 'It is another great example of the compelling, story-driven
entertainment that is the hallmark of our drama positioning and that sets TNT
apart as the leading programmer of series drama on cable.'