For two years in a row, CBS has scored with the hottest new drama on television. Last season it was The Mentalist and this year it’s NCIS: Los Angeles. Their ratings have ensured that they won’t be cancelled this season and new syndication deals has all but ensured their safety for the next few years as well.
Starring Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, Amanda Righetti, and Gregory Itzin, The Mentalist has been a big success on Thursday nights this season. Now, TNT has made a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution to air the show in syndication for an estimated $2.2 million an episode. According to the pact, TNT will start running the show weekly beginning with the 2011-12 season.
At the end of the present season, there will be 46 episodes of The Mentalist. The lucrative syndication deal ensures that the show will continue for at least one more season and, barring any strange twist of fate, for a lot longer.
NCIS: Los Angeles, which stars Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Linda Hunt, and Peter Cambor, debuted just seven weeks ago as a smash hit. In a remarkable move, it’s already been signed for a syndication deal as well. CBS Television has licensed the drama for a syndication run on USA Network.
Under the new deal, USA has agreed to pay an estimated $2.2 million per episode for the drama. The cable channel will start running episodes on a weekly basis starting September 2011 and can run installments five days a week beginning in Fall 2013.
This all but guarantees that NCIS: Los Angeles will be on the air for at least three seasons and very likely more. Because the show is produced by CBS’ in-house studio, the network has incentive to keep it going (ala Medium) even if the ratings drop off.
What do you think? Do you think it’s wise to put so much faith in shows that haven’t been on the air very long?
Images courtesy CBS.