TNT Summons 'Mentalist' Into Syndication

TNT has secured the exclusive syndication rights to CBS hit The Mentalist.
The deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, terms of which were not disclosed gives TNT the rights to begin airing the Simon Baker-starrer in 2012.
Multichannel News sister publication Variety reports that TNT paid somewhere between $2.2 million and $2.3 million per episode.

The deal comes as USA Network has scored syndication rights to NCIS: Los Angeles, this TV season's top new show.

The Mentalist, which stars Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation who solves serious crimes by using his razor-sharp skills of observation, was the No. 1 new TV show during the 2008-09 season.
TNT, which earlier this week picked up Warner Bros. Television's Southland, will add The Mentalist to an off-network roster that includes Without a Trace, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Bones, Angel, Charmed, Las Vegas, ER and Numb3rs. The network's originals series include The Closer, Saving Grace, HawthoRNe, Leverage and the upcoming Men of a Certain Age.
"The Mentalist is a terrific show that will be an ideal fit for TNT's already strong lineup," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, in a statement. "The early success of the series also indicates The Mentalist has a great future."
"Everyone recognized early on that The Mentalist was an A-tier drama, the kind of program that would have a profoundly positive effect on its cable licensee," added Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. "As a result, the demand for the off-network rights began almost immediately following its debut on CBS last fall and has steadily increased as the show blossomed into a true broadcast hit."