Da Vinci Cleared

Canadian forensic drama Da Vinci's Inquest has been sold in U.S. syndication to markets covering over 90% of the country, according to distributor Program Partners.

New recruits to the off-net hour, now in its seventh year on Canadian TV, include WGN Chicago (both a cable and local station deal), KXAS Dallas Fort Worth, WJLA Washington, KHOU Houston, KMOV St. Louis and WBAL Baltimore.

The series has been cleared on the stations for weekend barter runs (stations pay for the show in ad time rather than cash).

Most stations, particularly ABC and CBS affiliates, are running the show after their late news either by itself or paired with CSI in a two-hour crime time block. On cable Superstation WGN, the show will air in late fringe on weekdays, plus a two-hour, back-to-back airing Tuesday nights in prime time (essentially it has bought both a strip and weekend version, but will run its weekend version Tuesday nights so as not to go up against station airings).

The success of CSI and its spin-offs has prompted a wave of forensic shows, from Medium to ABC's upcoming Numbers, to Fox's House (which essentially applies the same sort of forensic sensibility to bodies that are still warm).

Now, Program Partners is pitching U.S. stations on Da Vinci's Inquest, in its seventh year, about "charismatic, controversial and mercurial Coroner Dominic Da Vinci as he works with homicide detectives, forensic investigators and pathologists to solve the mysteries of unnatural, accidental or suspicious deaths."

Ninety-one episodes of the show, from MacGyver creator Chris Haddock, will be available in the U.S. beginning this year.

Program Partners specializes in selling Canadian shows outside that country, including Animal Planet's Animal Miracles with Alan Thicke.

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.