Spike nabs off-net 'Entourage' rights

Includes option for second-network window

Spike TV has picked up off-network rights to HBO's comedy series "Entourage."

The guy-centered network has acquired all 78 produced episodes, the upcoming sixth season as well as rights to future seasons of the show for an all-cash license fee of about $600,000 an episode, sources said.

The Hollywood-centered comedy about young actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his posse will launch on Spike in January, after the show's sixth season wraps on HBO.

Spike also has the right to carve a window for a second network, which likely will be sister cabler Comedy Central.

Spike TV's vp programming John Griffin called "Entourage" "the epitome of aspirational television for guys." "Who wouldn't want to hang out with Vinnie Chase and his crew?" he said.

This is Spike's second acquisition of an HBO program in the past month. The basic cable channel also picked up HBO's Emmy-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers" for a premiere in the third quarter.

HBO took "Entourage," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and a second cycle of "Sex and the City" on the syndicated marketplace in March, with "Entourage" garnering interest from Spike and E! Entertainment.

In its first off-network series deal, HBO sold "Sex" to TBS in 2003.
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