ION Television is adding a TNT drama to its mix of CBS and USA off-network shows. The network has acquired off-network rights to TNT’s drama series Leverage from Electric Entertainment. Leverage will begin airing on ION in summer 2012. Leverage, which has been renewed by TNT for a fifth season, has averaged more than 4.8 million viewers in Season 4, up 10% over last season, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (+6%) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (+9%).
ION Television has inked a package deal with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution for off-network rights to Universal Cable Prods.’ USA series Psych and Monk and Universal Media Studios’ Fox medical drama House. ION has picked up all six produced as well as future seasons of the detective dramedy Psych, marking the first time the series has been syndicated on a broadcast network, as well as all 8 seasons of Monk. Starting in fall 2012, ION will air House 2 times per week for one year, meaning that if the series continues on Fox (which is uncertain as star Hugh Laurie’s contract is up at the end of this season), the medical drama will air on 2 broadcast networks simultaneously. (Reruns of House air nightly on USA.) ION’s other acquired series include Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace, My Name Is Earl and Flashpoint.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and TLC have acquired off-network rights to Undercover Boss from CBS Television Distribution, with the plan to schedule the CBS series beginning in fall 2012. The series averaged more than 17 million viewers an episode during its first season on CBS and was nominated for an Emmy in the Best Reality Show category. Its second season has averaged 12 million viewers. “Undercover Boss is a perfect fit for OWN and TLC as it focuses on improving lives, which very much reflects both networks’ missions,” said Scott Koondel, president, distribution, CBS Television Distribution. “We are excited that their viewers will have the chance to see this exceptional show.”