WGN America Nabs Reruns of CBS’ ‘Elementary’

Deal comes as part of cabler's drama makeover and follows acquisition of Eye's 'Person of Interest'

WGN America has cracked the case of “Elementary,” acquiring rerun rights to CBS’ detective drama.

The Tribune Co. cabler’s deal for the Sherlock Holmes’ procedural follows on the heels of its purchase of rights to another CBS drama, “Person of Interest,” from Warner Bros. TV. The deals are part of the effort by the new regime at Tribune to make over WGN America into a home for original and acquired drama series.

The WGN America pact also ensures that “Elementary,” now in its second year, will be renewed for a third season on CBS (not that there was much doubt). The rerun window on WGN America is expected to begin after the show wraps its junior year on the network. “Person of Interest” reruns are also skedded to bow in 2015.

“‘Elementary’ is a first-rate drama and terrific addition to the lineup of compelling content that is redefining WGN America,” WGN America prexy Matt Cherniss said.

Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer for CBS Corp., handled the deal for the Eye.

“We’re confident (‘Elementary’) will be the latest in CBS’ deep pipeline of dramas to make its mark in off-network cable syndication as well,” Koondel said.

“Elementary” episodes will become available to WGN America after each season of the Jonny Lee Miller-Lucy Liu starrer wraps on CBS. The CBS TV Studios production, exec produced by Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Craig Sweney, is averaging 12 million viewers this season in Nielsen’s L7 measure.

WGN America has exclusive cable off-network rights to “Elementary.” CBS is likely to shop the show to local broadcast stations down the road, but not before WGN America’s window begins.

WGN America launches its first two original dramas, “Salem” and “Manhattan,” in April and July, respectively.

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