Carsey-Werner To Distribute Cannell Library

Syndicator Carsey-Werner has struck a deal to distribute the Stephen J. Cannell library both inside and outside the U.S.

It is a homecoming of sorts for Cannell dramas. When they were programmers at ABC back in 1979, Carsey-Werner founders Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey bought Cannell's first network drama, Ten Speed and Brown Shoe.

The deal covers rights on various platforms, including cable, video-on-demand and the Internet, and will add thousands of hours to the distributor's library, including Baretta, The Rockford Files, A-Team, Hunter, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, Silk Stalkings and Michael Chiklis' first shield outing as The Commish.

Will the company start packaging the dramas in a block for some of the new independents created by the folding of UPN and The WB?

Carsey-Werner Domestic Distribution President Jim Kraus says the first order of business is to get a handle on various rights and where the shows are currently airing.

He definitely sees some opportunities but told B&C that "nobody seems to know, including the stations from The WB and UPN, exactly how it will unfold. We are waiting in the wings and figuring out what our opportunities will be."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.