Eye actioner gets $60 mil rerun deal

Rysher Entertainment has inked a $60 million-plus deal with USA Network for the rerun rights to the CBS actioner “Nash Bridges” beginning in fall 2000.

Reps for Rysher and USA declined to comment on the off-network deal. Sources said the pact calls for USA to shell out at least $600,000 per seg, for a minimum of 100 segs, over the five-year license term. That’s on par with recent off-net prices for shows of “Nash’s” caliber.

But it is understood that the deal also includes rating escalator clauses that could nudge the fee as high as $700,000 if the Don Johnson starrer pulls in solid Nielsen numbers in its Monday-Friday run on USA. Rysher also intends to sell the weekend rerun rights to broadcast stations, as has become the norm for off-net hours.

“Nash Bridges,” a staple of CBS’ Friday lineup since 1995, was recently picked up for a fifth season next fall. The show has been one of Rysher’s key assets, and there’s speculation that the promise of off-net riches to come next year could convince a potential suitor to finalize a deal to buy the indie production company.

Rysher has been on the block for nearly two years. Parent company Cox Enterprises has flirted with several prospective buyers, but a few have balked at Cox’s $400 million asking price. Primary contenders for Rysher are said to be Viacom and Sony.

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