Ion Locks Up Broadcast Syndie Rights To ‘Criminal Minds’

Ion Television today remained mindful of its penchant for building its roster of off-network shows, scooping about the broadcast syndication rights to drama Criminal Minds.

The deal between CBS Television Distribution and Ion Media Networks, terms of which were not disclosed, will enable Ion Television to begin stripping the show, which follows a team of profilers from the FBI’s behavioral analyst unit, weeknights during primetime in fall 2009.

The acquisition announcement comes the same day A&E secured exclusive cable rights to the series, beginning in Sept. 2009. In May, A&E will begin doling out a weekly dose of the show from its first three seasons.

Criminal Minds joins a host of recent additions, includingBoston Legal, which debuts on Ion later this year, as well as such series fare as The Steve Harvey Show, Family Feud and Quantum Leap, which are currently airing on the net's expanded entertainment schedule. 

“This high-caliber TV series strengthens and broadens Ion Television with target audiences and advertisers long term,” said Brandon Burgess, chairman and CEO of Ion Media Networks, in a statement. “The series has compelling first run ratings on CBS and is showing strength going into its fourth original season.”