ION TELEVISION ACQUIRES OFF-NETWORK RIGHTS TO TNT'S TOP-RATED SERIES "LEVERAGE"
Acquisition Marks ION's First Deal with Successful Independent Producer Dean Devlin and Electric Entertainment
NEW YORK - September 7, 2011 - 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.
ABOUT ELECTRIC ENTERTAINMENT
Electric Entertainment is a full service film, television, and new media production company and studio headed by veteran producer Dean Devlin along with Kearie Peak, Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan. Electric is currently preparing production for the fifth season of TNT's action-packed drama "Leverage."
Electric's other television credits include "The Librarian," starring Noah Wyle, which aired on TNT network in December 2004 and was the highest rated movie on cable that year, its sequel, "The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines" and the third installment of the franchise, "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice." Along with Bryan Singer's Bad Hat Harry production company, Electric produced Syfy Channel's "The Triangle," which won an Emmy for its Visual Effects, and was the highest-rated miniseries on the cable channel since "Steven Spielberg Presents TAKEN" (2002).
Electric's most recent film project was Sony Picture Classics' politically-charged documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, which was nominated by the Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Documentary Feature.
In addition, the company also operates Electric Post, an in-house, state of the art digital effects and post-production facility, which utilizes cutting-edge technology, allowing filmmakers to stretch their dollars way beyond traditional budget boundaries.
ABOUT ION TELEVISION
ION Television is a leading U.S. general entertainment network, combining high-quality programming and dependable broadcast distribution with an attitude of innovation and growth normally associated with a cable channel. Its "Positively Entertaining" network brand positioning features a formula of proven series, an expansive catalog of blockbuster movies and a commitment to introduce new original programming. Since its recent launch in 2008, ION's reach has grown to 99 million households and has become one of the top-15 TV rated U.S. networks in record time. For more information, visit www.iontelevision.com.