New York -- Basic cable continued its aggressive pursuit of
broadcast-network-premiere windows for big-name theatrical films last week, when USA
Network landed three Universal titles -- The Jackal, Mercury Rising and For
Richer or Poorer.
The two former titles star Bruce Willis; the latter is a
comedy starring Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley.
USA isn't saying when the earliest date that these
latest acquisitions will hit primetime would be, nor is it commenting on published reports
that it paid $15 million for the movie trio, including $6 million for The Jackal.
USA and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s TBS
Superstation and Turner Network Television have been among the most aggressive cable
networks in nailing early windows for popular films, and the strategy has been paying off
In mid-August, TBS garnered a 6.6 Nielsen Media Research
rating in cable homes for the premiere of The American President. Last December,
TBS posted a 6.4 rating for Dumb & Dumber.In July, USA scored a 3.6
rating for the premiere of Casino.