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TNT Grabs CBS’ Without a Trace

Turner Network Television has closed a deal for the off-network rights to CBS’ Without a Trace
-- a pact that includes repurposing the show starting next fall, officials said Thursday.

TNT, in a deal with corporate sibling Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, will have an exclusive off-network window for Without a Trace
beginning in fall 2006, with repurposing rights two years before that, in 2004.

For the repurposing, TNT can air episodes from the show’s first and second seasons, and it plans to run one per week. By 2004, the series will be in its third season.

In 2006, TNT expects to run Without a Trace
five days per week in primetime.

TNT declined to comment, but it is reportedly paying $1.35 million per episode for the series -- the most it has ever shelled out for an off-network show.

"Without a Trace
has distinguished itself as one of the smartest, most compelling dramas on television, and it will be one of the centerpieces of the network’s brand moving forward," TNT executive vice president and chief operating officer Steve Koonin said in a prepared statement. "The show will augment the network’s powerful lineup of hall-of-fame dramas."

Without a Trace
, starring Anthony LaPlagia, has given CBS its highest-rated
Thursday 10 p.m. ratings in more than a decade.