WGN America Lands Off-Network Rights to CBS' 'Elementary'

Elementary The Woman Heroine - H 2013

Elementary The Woman Heroine - H 2013

The Sherlock Holmes drama will join recently acquired "Person of Interest," along with a batch of forthcoming originals, including "Salem" and "Manhattan," on WGNA's schedule.

WGN America continues to bolster its slate with the addition of Elementary.

The cable network has acquired exclusive off-net cable rights to CBS' sophomore drama, and will be able to air it after each season has aired on the broadcast network. The Lucy Liu/Johnny Lee Miller Sherlock Holmes entry will join recently acquired Person of Interest, a fellow CBS drama, along with a batch of forthcoming originals, including April entry Salem and July's Manhattan, on WGNA's schedule.

“Elementary is a first-rate drama and terrific addition to the lineup of compelling content that is redefining WGN America,” said WGN America and Tribune Studios newly installed president Matt Cherniss in a statement announcing the news Thursday.

Though the financials of the pact were not disclosed, WGNA's new regime is said to be a particularly aggressive bidder for off-net and original fare. Still, the former market is not as red hot as it was only a few years ago, thanks in large part to cable's increasing dependence on original material. 

Added Scott Koondel, CBS' chief corporate content licensing officer, of the acquisition: Elementary is a smart, high-quality series that has been a strong performer for CBS since it premiered. We’re confident it will be the latest in CBS’s deep pipeline of dramas to make its mark in off-network cable syndication as well."

The critically praised drama, produced by CBS TV Studios, became the most watched new series of the 2012-13 season, and was granted the plum post-Super Bowl spot during its first year on air. Thus far this season, the Robert Doherty-run production is averaging 12 million viewers on a weekly basis.

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