‘Without a Trace’ scores a second broadcast home, via ION

Without-a-Trace
For a show titled “Without a Trace,” it’s sure going to be easy to find this fall.

The procedural drama, canceled by CBS in 2009, will live on this fall via off-net repeats on not one, but two broadcast programmers: MyNetworkTV and ION.

That’s quite a reversal of fortune for “Trace” and Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution. TNT previously helt the off-net rights to “Trace” — but as widely reported, the cabler’s pricey deal for the show fell flat (thanks to disappointing ratings). Time Warner took a $104 million writedown on the deal, TNT yanked it off its sked, and Warner Bros. was free to sell it elsewhere.

It’s probably not close to the deal Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution fetched at TNT, but the division has done quite all right with “Trace.” Not only are back-to-back off-net episodes of “Trace” set to air Thursdays at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on MyNet this fall, but it will now also be stripped on ION.

ION has acquired all seven seasons — repping 160 episodes — of the Anthony LaPaglia starrer. Show will launch on the programming service on Monday, July 5, via a marathon from 3 p.m. to midnight. After that, the show will air weeknights at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

That could set up a “Trace” netlet smackdown, with both MyNet and ION airing the show opposite each other on Thursdays in the fall. But an insider said that’s not likely to happen: MyNet has priority scheduling, which means ION will have to work around MyNet’s “Trace” airing.

ION’s looking a lot like CBS circa 2005 these days. Besides the “Trace” repeats, the channel also airs off-net runs of “Criminal Minds,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “NCIS.” 

Follow Michael Schneider on Twitter. 

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