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Exclusive: Tribune Acquires Warner Bros. Strip 'Crime Watch Daily'

Tribune Broadcasting has acquired Warner Bros.’ new one-hour syndicated series, Crime Watch Daily, for fall 2015.

The station giant has picked up the show in all of its markets, clearing it in 42% of the country. Warner Bros. will take the show out to the rest of the country this fall.

“There is a terrific opportunity in early fringe leading into local news as well as in daytime to capture an audience that is longing for distinctive, addictive and real-life television,” Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, told B&C. “As we’ve seen on cable and in other day-parts, audiences have an insatiable appetite for real-life investigations and crime stories.”

Tribune, which had considered picking up a crime-show block to premiere this fall, plans to air the show as a 4 p.m. news lead-in in many markets. With its acquisition of Local TV and the change of its Indianapolis station, WTTV, to CBS, Tribune owns both traditional and non-traditional affiliates and all of those stations have different daytime line-ups.

“We wanted to make sure this show would fit on a wider group of our affiliates and in time periods that were compatible with its lead-ins and lead-outs in every market,” says Sean Compton, Tribune's president of strategic programming and acquisitions. “This is the perfect show to put adjacent to news and daytime.”

In a novel feature of the deal, stations will be participants, with local reporters' coverage of crime and justice contributing to the show's daily national mix.

For more about the two-year development of the show, including exclusive details about its production and marketing, visit Paige Albiniak's coverage in our Sept. 15 issue.