ION Television continues to expand its programming line-up with high-quality content with the acquisition of the popular TNT drama series, “Leverage” from Electric Entertainment. The announcement was made today by Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. ION Television, a top-10 rated network, has licensed the off-network rights to all seasons of “Leverage.” The series will begin airing on ION Television in summer 2012.
“We’re pleased to team up with Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, which has distinguished itself by providing high caliber theatrical production standards for TV audiences,” says Burgess. “Collaborating with both Electric and Turner to support the longevity of a popular original drama, such as ‘Leverage,’ furthers our strategic goal to be a viable partner for cable network productions.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with ION Television, one of the largest broadcast television station groups in the country. ION’s reach of over 99 million homes in the U.S. will ensure the continuation of the show’s legacy,” says Electric Entertainment Founder Dean Devlin. “We’re looking forward to working with such a pioneering and innovative company.”
“Leverage” follows a five-person team: a thief, a grifter, a hacker, a retrieval specialist, and their leader, former insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Academy Award Winner(R) Timothy Hutton), who use their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on ordinary citizens. “Leverage,” recently picked-up for its fifth season, is executive-produced by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT’s The Librarian movie series) and creators John Rogers (Transformers) and Chris Downey (The King of Queens). The series is produced for TNT by Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. This season, Leverage has averaged more than 4.8 million viewers, up 10% over season three, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (+6%) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (+9%).
The “Leverage” deal comes on the heels of ION’s recent acquisition of cable’s other hit series “Psych,” “Monk” and “House,” signifying ION as a viable after-market platform for cable net productions. The hit series also joins ION Television’s primetime schedule of the popular off-net series “Without a Trace,” “Criminal Minds,” “Ghost Whisperer” and ION’s first original police drama “Flashpoint.”
Source: Nielsen Media Research; L+SD data; Leverage Season 4 through 5 telecasts SU 9-10P (6/26/11-7/24/11) versus ad-supported cable scripted programs and Season 1-4 (12/7/08-7/24/11).
Source: Top 10 Rank; Nielsen Media Research, Live+SD, 9/27/2010-8/7/2011, M-Sun 7P-12A, A25-54 (000). Excludes kids, news, and sports nets.