ION Renews ‘Flashpoint’ For Fifth Season
NEW YORK, January 3, 2012 – ION Television announced today it is renewing its original police drama Flashpoint for a fifth season. The network is picking up 13 more episodes, set to begin shooting in February 2012. The announcement was made today by Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks.
Flashpoint joined ION’s primetime schedule in October 2011 after the network acquired all episodes from seasons 1-3 along with 11 season four original episodes. The production of season five contributes to ION Television’s original programming goals for 2012 and beyond. Since its debut on ION, Flashpoint recorded its highest-telecast ever among the network’s key demos on December 27, including households (1.5 million), A25-54 (869,000), W25-54 (566,000) and among total viewers (2.1 million).
“Flashpoint’s solid performance season-to-date shows that a growing number of fans enjoy the series on ION Television,” says Burgess. “We welcome back this exciting dramatic series and its cast to ION Television for another season in 2012.”
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EXCLUSIVE: I hear that ION Television has renewed Canadian-produced cop drama Flashpoint for a fifth season. The broadcast network is picking up all 13 episodes of the series’ fifth season, set to begin production in February 2012. Flashpoint, Canada’s most-watched drama series, has already been renewed north of the border by CTV with a 13-episode fifth-season order. Flashpoint was the first of the recent wave of Canadian scripted series to launch successfully in the U.S. when it premiered on CBS in 2008. Earlier this year, it became the first of the Canadian imports to land a U.S. syndication deal in a complex arrangement with CBS and ION. Under the deal, ION acquired all episodes from Seasons 1-4 that had aired in the U.S. on CBS along with 11 first-run (in the U.S.) Season 4 episodes. Since its ION debut in October, Flashpoint has been growing in the ratings. In its most recent airing on December 27, the drama posted series highs on the network in total viewers (2.1 million) and several demos, including adults 25-54 (869,000). Read More »
Broadcast networks’ infatuation with lower-license-fee internationally produced drama series, which began during the run-up to the 2007 writers strike, is entering a major new phase with NBC’s midseason scheduling of the Entertainment One-produced 22-episode drama The Firm, based on John Grisham’s novel and the Tom Cruise-starring movie. Back in 2007, two of the acquired series stockpiled by the U.S. networks as strike contingency, Flashpoint by CBS and Crusoe by NBC, aired in-season on Fridays and Saturdays, and Flashpoint even got a brief turn in the Thursday 10 PM slot when the broadcast nets ran out of originals at the height of the labor dispute. But since then, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox have largely limited lower-license-fee drama series acquisitions to summer runs. (Fox’s attempt to extend the run of such a series, The Good Guys, into the regular season backfired.) Then in April, NBC picked up The Firm based on a spec script by Lucas Reiter. Two weeks later, at NBC’s upfront presentation, the network announced The Firm as a midseason replacement to air on Sundays. And today, the straight-to-series drama was upgraded to the Thursday 10 PM slot, which for years had been considered NBC’s top drama slot, home of such iconic series as Hill Street Blues, LA Law and ER. Read More »
CBS has pulled midseason series Chaos off the schedule after three low-rated airings in the challenging Friday 8 PM time slot. The CIA dramedy most recently drew a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers this past Friday. That was actually up a tenth in the demo from the previous week but way below what Medium and The Defenders were pulling in the slot earlier this season. For the next two weeks, CBS will air CSI: NY repeats in the 8 PM hour, with Canadian-made backup Flashpoint stepping in May 6 with originals. CBS fought hard to land Chaos in dramatic negotiations with producer 20th Century Fox TV that lasted a couple of months last summer.
Meanwhile, the four unaired episodes of FX’s canceled freshman comedy Running Wilde will run on sibling cable channel FX beginning on April 28 at 10 PM.
CBS Corp. and Netflix just announced a two-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will allow library CBS series to be streamed via Nexflix. Included in the deal are dramas Medium, Flashpoint, the original Hawaii Five-0, the different incarnations of Star Trek as well as Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone. On the comedy side, included are Frasier, Cheers, Family Ties and The Andy Griffith Show. The shows will be available in April.
EXCLUSIVE: In the summer of 2008, Flashpoint became the first of several Canadian series picked up around the writers strike to premiere on a U.S. network, CBS. It became the first and only Canadian series success story here until the debut of Rookie Blue on ABC this summer. Now, Flashpoint has become the first of the Canadian imports to land a U.S. syndication deal in a complex arrangement with CBS and ION that will allow both Flashpoint‘s current U.S. network home, CBS, and its new one, ION, to air originals of the procedural about an elite tactical unit.
CBS currently has 6 unaired episodes from Flashpoint‘s third season that it had been keeping as a backup but won’t need this season as CBS’ drama lineup has performed well. Meanwhile, because of the success of the series in Canada, its broadcaster there, CTV, has already greenlighted an 18-episode fourth season. CBS will pick up 7 of the 18 episodes from Season 4 to air with the 6 unaired Season 3 segments for a 13-episode run during the summer. Soon after that, ION is expected to begin airing all 51 episodes of the show that will have aired on CBS. Additionally, ION will premiere the remaining 11 episodes of Flashpoint’s fourth season.
Flashpoint will feel right at home on ION whose … Read More »
Maybe the U.S. broadcast networks should just collectively outsource their summer scripted programming to Canada. The CW, which has been barely keeping the lights on with all-repeats this summer, has acquired the rights to the Canadian comedy series 18 to Life, described as a modern-day (and comedic I presume) take on Romeo and Juliet. The network will start double-pumping two back-to-back episodes from the series’ 12-episode freshman season on Tuesday nights at 9 PM and 9:30 PM.
The CW had been exploring the idea of importing British reality series for this summer. Going with Canada instead is understandable (no accents!), but the choice of genre – a scripted comedy series – is surprising. The CW exited the comedy business a year ago when it cancelled its last half-hour series.
18 To Life joins fellow summer Canadian imports Rookie Blue on ABC and Flashpoint and The Bridge on CBS. The comedy has American roots: in the pilot stage, it was a co-production between Canada’s CBC and U.S.’s ABC, but ABC ultimately passed on the pilot, while CBC picked it up to series.
On the CW, I’m sure the hope is that 18 To Life would provide some support to the network’s sole original offering this summer, reality series Plain Jane, which debuts July 28. And if 18 To Life does well, there are more episodes in the hopper: the show has … Read More »