Cabler orders second season of crime drama

A&E Network has found a keeper in “The Glades.”

The cabler gave a second season order of 13 episodes to the procedural crime drama from Fox Television Studios that has performed solidly for the net since its July 11 debut. The series stars Aussie newcomer Matt Passmore as a detective transplanted from Chicago to the sunny climate of south Florida.

The show, which lenses in Hollywood, Fla., has a lighter tone than A&E’s recent scripted originals, “The Beast” and “The Cleaner,” neither of which managed to click with viewers. “Glades” maintains the cabler’s strong emphasis on crime stories, but with a bigger helping of dark humor and romantic subplots among the ensemble cast, which also features Kiele Sanchez, Carlos Gomez and Michelle Hurd.

“Glades” episodes have averaged 3.2 million viewers across its premiere and repeat telecasts each week, including a strong 1.1 million viewers in the adults 18-49 demo. The show has helped drive A&E to the top of the basic cable pack on Sunday nights in total viewers. Series wraps its first season on Oct. 3.

Bob DeBitetto, prexy and g.m. of A&E, credits “Glades” exec producers Clifton Campbell and Gary Randall for crafting a quirky world for “Glades” that breaks the cop show mold. And he said the hunk factor with Passmore, who had been a staple of Oz TV but unknown to U.S. viewers, has played a part in drawing attention to the show, particularly with femmes.

“There’s no question he’s a leading man in the making,” DeBitetto said. “We’re fortunate to be the first ones out with him.”

The “Glades” renewal is the first major piece of business for Fox TV Studios since David Madden was upped to prexy of the wing earlier this month (Daily Variety, Aug. 17).

“Clifton Campbell created a terrifically quirky and engaging series in ‘The Glades’ that obviously has found the right home in A&E,” Madden said. “We’re looking forward to producing more compelling character-driven stories, to working with executive producer Gary Randall, our stellar cast and production team, and to continuing to work with A&E on the series.”

In addition to “Glades,” A&E has the scripted drama “Breakout Kings” in the wings for a 2011 premiere.

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