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TNN Acquires Three Star Trek Series

LOS ANGELES -TNN: The National Network has acquired the cable rights to the three
Star Trek

spin-off series.

In addition to the three shows-
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Voyager
, from sister company Paramount Domestic Television-TNN has also bought rights to five
Star Trek

theatrical movies. The deal involves 500 total hours of programming.

Network officials couldn't be reached for comment on published reports that they paid a record $354 million for the package of series and movies.

TNN general manager Diane Robina said the acquisitions demonstrates Viacom Inc.'s commitment to re-brand what was The Nashville Network as a service dedicated to pop culture by investing in marquee programming and franchises such as
Star Trek

"We're trying to embrace a pop branding and be about pop culture," Robina said. "
Star Trek

is a unique franchise that fits pop culture."

Not only has MTV Networks received calls asking about
Star Trek

over the years,
but TNN's own research has found that people would like to see the spin-off shows, according to Robina. The science-fiction series are also meant to bring viewers to TNN's original programming, slated to premiere in 2001. Under the deal with Paramount, TNN has acquired 179 episodes of
Star Trek: The Next Generation,

which will air on the network starting in fall 2001; 176 episodes of
Deep Space Nine
, starting in fall 2004; and 172 episodes of
, premiering on TNN in late 2006.

The five Paramount feature films are
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
; and
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

The theatricals "are a great way to get viewers to sample your network," Robina said.

Sci Fi Channel, which airs the original
Star Trek

series, was reportedly among the bidders for the three spin-offs. TNN will have exclusivity for the three
Star Trek

spin-offs, which are now in syndication, Robina said.