[08/27/09 - 06:40 AM]
The Con Is on as TNT Orders Third Season of Hit Series Leverage
It will then return to complete the second season in winter, with the third season slated to air in summer 2010.

[via press release from TNT]

The Con is On as TNT Orders Third Season of Hit Series LEVERAGE

Popular Series, Starring Oscar� Winner Timothy Hutton, Averages 4.1 Million Viewers and Ranks as Ad-Supported Cable's #1 Wednesday Program among Adults 25-54, Viewers and Households

Television's hottest team of con artists, grifters, hackers and thieves will be back again as TNT lines up a third season of its fast-paced drama series LEVERAGE, starring Academy Award� winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People), Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (TNT's Into the West), Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights). The network has ordered 15 episodes of the series, which is currently in its second season, airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The show's summer finale will air Wednesday, Sept. 9. It will then return to complete the second season in winter, with the third season slated to air in summer 2010.

"Thanks in large part to its engaging cast and clever storytelling, LEVERAGE has proven itself to be one of the most exciting and fun hours on television," said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "The producers, cast and crew have been incredible to work with, and we anticipate another wonderful season."

LEVERAGE is executive-produced by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT's The Librarian) and creators John Rogers (Transformers) and Chris Downey (The King of Queens). It comes to the network from Devlin's Electric Entertainment and is one of six high-profile original dramas that have populated TNT's Monday-Wednesday lineup this summer. The six series, which include The Closer, Raising the Bar, HawthoRNe, Saving Grace and Dark Blue, are part of an aggressive TNT strategy to build a slate of quality original programming in primetime.

LEVERAGE scored big in its first season, ranking as ad-supported cable's #1 show in its timeslot with an average of 3.9 million viewers. The second season has averaged 4.1 million viewers* and ranks as ad-supported cable's #1 Wednesday program in delivery of adults 25-54, viewers and households. The show is enjoying solid growth when compared to its first season, with viewers up 5% and households up 7%.

LEVERAGE scores tremendously well with DVR users, garnering an extraordinary 66% growth among adults 25-54 when comparing Live to Live + 7 viewing.

In LEVERAGE, Hutton stars as Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator determined to bring down the kind of corrupt bigwigs whose neglect led to the death of his son. His highly skilled team includes Sophie Devereaux (Bellman), a grifter who uses her acting skills to corner her marks; Eliot Spencer (Kane), a "retrieval specialist" with bone-crunching fighting skills; Alec Hardison (Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team connected and informed; and Parker (Riesgraf), a slightly off-center thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.

Electric Entertainment is a full-service film, television and new media production company and studio, 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. Dec. 7, 2008, marked the TNT premiere of Leverage, the new action-packed series from Electric Entertainment executive produced by Devlin, who made his directorial debut on the pilot, and the debut of The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, the third installment of the company's popular Librarian franchise, starring Noah Wyle (ER). Electric is in pre-production on the animated feature film Tikis and the feature film Ghosting, a supernatural thriller which 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 The Sci Fi Channel's (now SyFy) 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 last fall on the network, as well as on tnt.tv. Additionally, Electric Entertainment owns and operates the online pop-culture and entertainment magazine IF (www.IFmagazine.com), which reports the entertainment industry's daily news.

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; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; and Dark Blue, starring Dylan McDermott. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, CSI: NY, 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.

* Blended average using most recent available data: Live + 7 through Aug. 5; Live + Same Day for Aug. 12 and Aug. 19.

  [august 2009]  


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