[02/02/09 - 09:22 AM]
TNT Renews Popular Drama Series Leverage for Second Season
15 new episodes are set to roll out later this year.

[via press release from TNT]

TNT Renews Popular Drama Series LEVERAGE for Second Season

Acclaimed Series, Starring Oscar� Winner Timothy Hutton, Ranks as Ad-Supported Cable's #1 Entertainment Program in the Tuesday 10 p.m. (ET/PT) Timeslot

Series Averages 3.2 Million Viewers and Scores Big Growth Through Time-Shifted Viewing

TNT's critically acclaimed hit series LEVERAGE will be back for a second season, according to an announcement today by Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). TNT has ordered 15 new episodes of the popular, high-octane series, which stars Oscar� winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Nero Wolfe), Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (TNT's Into the West), Beth Riesgraf (Without a Trace) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights).

LEVERAGE currently airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), with the second season slated to begin later this year. The series is produced by Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment. Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT's The Librarian movie series), John Rogers (Cosby) and Chris Downey (The King of Queens) serve as executive producers.

LEVERAGE ranks as ad-supported cable's #1 entertainment program in the Tuesday 10 p.m. (ET/PT) timeslot among viewers, households and adults 25-54. The Dec. 7 premiere was watched by 5.6 million viewers and scored TNT's best original series telecast ever in delivery of adults 18-49 during the regular broadcast season. Through its first nine episodes, LEVERAGE has averaged 3.2 million viewers and 1.4 million adults 18-49 in Live + Same Day viewing. The first six episodes scored strong growth when comparing Live to Live + 7 numbers, with total viewership rising 33% to 4.1 million and adults 18-49 rising 42% to 1.9 million.

"We're thrilled that audiences and critics have responded so positively to LEVERAGE and made the show a solid hit," Wright said. "We look forward to another great season of fun and exciting storylines brought to life by the outstanding cast, led by Timothy Hutton, and the incredible production team, headed up by executive producers Dean Devlin and John Rogers."

LEVERAGE follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who seek revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize people. Hutton stars as a former insurance investigator whose son died as a result of corporate greed. He now puts his energy, quick mind and keen intellect toward securing justice for society's underdogs.

"We had an amazing experience shooting the first season of LEVERAGE with such a talented cast and crew and with the full support of TNT behind us," Devlin said. "We can't wait to get to work on season two and take viewers on another adventure with Nate and his team."

LEVERAGE is part of an ongoing collaboration between TNT and Devlin. Previously, he executive-produced The Librarian action-adventure movies starring Noah Wyle (ER). The third installment in the franchise, The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, premiered as the lead-in to the first episode of LEVERAGE.

The renewal of LEVERAGE is the latest move by TNT in its aggressive strategy to ramp up original series production. The network recently announced that it is greenlighting two new series: Time Heals, a character-driven medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women, The Matrix Trilogy), and the fast-paced, undercover police drama The Line, starring Golden Globe� winner Dylan McDermott (The Practice, TNT's The Grid).

TNT's success with original series includes the critically acclaimed The Closer, ad-supported cable's #1 series of all time; Saving Grace, which averages more than 5 million viewers; and Raising the Bar, which set a new ad-supported cable viewership record when it premiered on Labor Day 2008. The network's latest original series, the light-hearted drama Trust Me, starring Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh, premiered Jan. 26, with 3.4 million viewers.

Electric Entertainment is a full-service film, television and new media production company, established in 2001 by veteran writer/producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Stargate, The Patriot) and led by Devlin, along with partners Kearie Peak, Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan. Electric is in pre-production on the feature film Ghosting, a supernatural thriller that Devlin will produce and direct. Electric's previous films include the World War I action/adventure Flyboys; the politically charged documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?; Cellular, starring Kim Basinger, Chris Evans and Jessica Biel; and Eight Legged Freaks, with David Arquette and Scarlett Johansson. The company's television credits include The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, starring Noah Wyle, which aired on TNT in December 2004 and was the highest-rated movie on cable that year; its sequel, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines; and Sci Fi's The Triangle, which won a visual effects Emmy and was the highest-rated miniseries on the cable channel since Steven Spielberg Presents Taken. Electric Entertainment recently teamed with TNT for the crime thriller Blank Slate, starring Eric Stoltz, a microseries that debuted in fall 2008 on the network, as well as on www.tnt.tv. Blank Slate will be re-packaged and distributed on mobile devices, home video and broadcast television. Additionally, Electric Entertainment owns and operates the online independent film magazine IF (www.IFmagazine.com), which reports the entertainment industry's daily news.

Turner Network Television (TNT), one of cable's top-rated networks, is television's destination for drama and home to such original series as the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; Raising the Bar, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Trust Me, with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER and Charmed; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

  [february 2009]  


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