Congloms making nice for ‘NCIS’

NBC U to assist CBS in launch of show spinoff

In another case of TV making for strange bedfellows, NBC Universal will assist CBS in launching the Eye’s upcoming “NCIS” spinoff.

USA has struck a deal with CBS to air the two “NCIS” episodes from this past season that set the stage for this fall’s newcomer “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

USA already carries reruns of “NCIS,” currently the top-rated off-net series on cable.

The two “NCIS” episodes featuring “NCIS: Los Angeles” stars Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J run Friday on USA.

Normally, episodes from the just-ended season’s run of “NCIS” wouldn’t be available so quickly — but the Eye saw a marketing opportunity by advancing the segs to USA. The cabler was happy to help CBS market the spinoff in exchange for an early crack at the episodes.

Such a quid pro quo is in stark contrast to last month’s brutal back-and-forth between the Peacock and the Eye over “Medium.” After both sides failed to come to a deal for the show — NBC wanted fewer episodes than what CBS TV Studios was looking to produce — the Peacock wound up canceling the show.

In dropping “Medium,” NBC execs dismissed the show’s performance — leading CBS TV Studios to send out an unusual press release condemning the Peacock for dumping the series.

But ultimately, a conglom feud of this sort can go only so far. With the congloms in business with each other on many different fronts, it’s no surprise that, a month later, two different divisions of NBC Universal and CBS Corp. are playing nice.

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