NBC'S 'LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT' CONCLUDES UNPRECEDENTED DEAL FOR OFF-NETWORK PREMIERE ON USA AND BRAVO CABLE NETWORKS BEGINNING IN FOURTH-QUARTER 2005
BURBANK, Calif. -� December 2, 2004 -� USA and Bravo Networks have signed an unprecedented deal that will give the cable channels -- under the NBC Universal umbrella � exclusive off-network rights to premiere previously aired episodes of NBC's hit drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" starting in the fourth quarter of 2005.
The deal extends for the entire production run of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," produced by Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television Studio. USA will be able to air the series throughout the week, while Bravo will present it on weekends.
The announcement was made today by Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Universal Television Group.
"This deal confirms the popularity of the most successful series brand on television," said Zucker. "By allowing 'Criminal Intent' a secondary platform on such upscale channels as USA and Bravo, it's not only beneficial for our company, but also our viewers who will be able to watch this quality program for years to come."
"The `Law & Order' series has been hugely popular both in originals on NBC and in rebroadcasts on cable. 'Criminal Intent' is a well-written, high quality show that has been a vital part of the NBC schedule for the past four years. I'm thrilled we are keeping it in the family," added Jeff Gaspin, President, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment & Cross-Network Strategy.
"It is gratifying that both USA and Bravo understand the value of quality scripted programming as well as the 'Law & Order' brand. 'SVU' has flourished on USA and I expect 'CI' to do the same," said Dick Wolf.
"We're pleased that USA and Bravo recognized the value of this hit series. It was a highly sought-after title and I'm thrilled we were able to make this unique deal," said Barry Wallach, President, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.
Through the opening 10 weeks of the 2004-05 season, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" is averaging a 4.2 rating and 10 share among adults 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers overall. "Criminal Intent" is building by a towering 68 percent on its lead-in among adults 18-49 this Fall. The acclaimed fourth-season drama has also generated year-to-year increases in both 18-49 and total viewers in the November sweep despite this year's high-powered competition that includes ABC's "Desperate Housewives."
Traditionally, procedural network dramas have a successful track record on basic cable channels (for example, the highly-rated "Law & Order: SVU" and repurposed episodes of "Law & Order: CI" on USA). When the series begins its run on USA and Bravo, it will have completed four seasons and 89 episodes � and will continue with additional episodes after each successive season on NBC.
Producer Dick Wolf � who presides over the popular, Emmy Award-winning "Law & Order"-series brand on NBC � is executive producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," along with Rene Balcer, Peter Jankowski and Fred Berner. The legal crime drama is unique among the other "Law & Order"-brand programs in that it offers an additional dimension by exposing major crimes from the criminal's perspective.
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" stars critically acclaimed film actor Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Robert Goren, Kathryn Erbe as Detective Alexandra Eames, Courtney B. Vance as Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver and Jamey Sheridan as Captain James Deakins.
In the series, Goren is an exceptionally bright homicide investigator with well-honed instincts that match up favorably with his criminal quarry. Likewise, his partner, Detective Eames, brings an independence and stylish edge to her work that meshes well in tandem with Goren.
Their commanding officer, Captain James Deakins, is a competent but ambitious political animal who knows how to survive and thrive behind the scenes. All of them often butt heads with the no-nonsense District Attorney Ron Carver, a stickler for the crucial legal details.