Ion Gains 'Leverage'

ION Television continued to secure off-network rights to cable TV series Wednesday by reaching a syndication deal to distribute TNT's drama series
The Dean Devlin-produced series will begin airing on Ion Television in summer 2012, said network officials. Terms of the deal were not disclosed at press time.
Ion will have access to all seasons of the Timothy Hutton-starrer, including its fifth campaign that the "drama" network will debut next summer. Leverage averaged more than 4.8 million viewers during the first half of its fourth season, which was up 10% over season three. The Electric Entertainment-produced show averaged 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 2.3 million adults 25-54 during its summer run. It will return with the remaining fourth-season episodes in November and December.
The Leverage acquisition follows Ion's recent deals for off-network rights to such other cable network series as USA's Monk and Psych.
"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," said Brandon Burgess, CEO for Ion Media Networks in a statement. "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."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.