Escape, the over-the-air network reaching women 25-54 with a brand of programming anchored in stories of crime and mystery, has acquired the television rights to Law & Order and Boston Legal.
Escape lands the first 12 seasons of Law & Order and complete series/five seasons of Boston Legal.
Laff has acquired the complete run/eight seasons of According to Ji; Bounce has acquired Scandal – which just begun its run there.
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ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Katz Networks, part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), announced three major off-network series licensing agreements today:
Escape, the over-the-air network reaching women 25-54 with a brand of programming anchored in stories of crime and mystery, has acquired the television rights to Law & Order and Boston Legal in two individual deals. Escape lands the first 12 seasons of Law & Order – the longest-running crime and investigation drama on American primetime television – in a multi-year licensing agreement with Universal Television. The complete series/five seasons of Boston Legal come from Twentieth Television, Inc.
Laff, television’s fastest-growing network and the nation’s first over-the-air network devoted to comedy around-the-clock, has landed the broadcast television rights to all eight seasons of According to Jim, starring Jim Belushi, in an agreement with Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International.
Escape will launch both series on New Year’s Day. They join another hit off-network crime drama, Without a Trace, in the Escape line-up. Laff will debut According to Jim in early 2019.
These agreements come on the heels of Katz sister network Bounce landing broadcast rights to the iconic series Scandal which just joined Bounce’s primetime line-up.
Law & Order was a pioneering show that combined crime investigation and subsequent prosecution of the perpetrators in a two-part approach, with many plots based on headline-making cases. The multiple EMMY®-winning and nominated series has been noted for its revolving cast over the years, with seasons 1-12 featuring Sam Waterston, Jerry Orbach, S. Epatha Merkleson, Steven Hill, Chris Noth, Benjamin Bratt, Angie Harmon, Jesse L. Martin, Michael Moriarty and Jill Hennessey, among others. Numerous hit shows have been spun-off from the original Law & Order, which was created by Dick Wolf.
Boston Legal follows the in-and-out of court lives of the attorneys at the high-powered, high-priced law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. It’s perhaps best known for the powerful and multiple-award winning performances of its headlining cast. James Spader earned two Emmy® Awards for his role as not-always-ethical but usually-a-winner Alan Shore. William Shatner took home an Emmy® and Golden Globe® for his memorable performance as the quirky Denny Crane, one of the firm’s partners. Candice Bergen plays no-nonsense attorney Shirley Schmidt, who rejoins the firm toward the after a stint in New York. Boston Legal was created by David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice).
According to Jim was a rating success for ABC. Jim Belushi stars as an easy going suburban Chicago father who often finds himself in challenging situations due to his slacker ways. He is frequently at odds with his wife, Cheryl, played by Courtney Thorne-Smith, and together they raise their three children, with twins being born in the seventh season to make it a party of five. Cheryl’s brother, Andy (Larry Joe Campbell), is Jim’s partner-in-crime, while Kimberly Williams-Paisley plays Cheryl’s sister and best friend. According to Jim joins Laff’s sitcom hall-of-fame line-up which includes Home Improvement, 3rd Rock from the Sun, That ’70s Show, The Drew Carey Show, Night Court, Spin City and more.
Escape, Laff, Bounce and Grit, which targets men 25-54 with a lineup of Western and action movies and series, are part of Katz Networks – targeted, demo-specific brands leading a new generation of fast-growing broadcast networks created to serve cord-cutters, cord-nevers and subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) subscribers.