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Court TV eyes cable rights deal for Fox’s ‘Cops’ series

Channel using off-net fare to lure auds

Court TV is close to signing a deal to buying the cable rights to Fox’s “Cops.”

Neither “Cops” syndicator Twentieth Television nor Court TV would comment, but sources said the deal was imminent.

The deal to buy “Cops” has not been signed yet because Twentieth TV and Court TV are still hammering out some final contract points, said sources.

“Cops” would be the second off-network series purchased by Court TV. On Jan. 1, the law and order channel began running reruns of the police drama “Homicide.”

Needs winners

Court TV president Henry Schleiff has said he wants to build the cabler around originally produced programming but needs established off-network fare to draw audiences to the new shows.

Produced by Langley/Barbour Prods., “Cops” has 400 episodes in the can — more than enough for Court TV to strip the show daily.

The long-running reality series features video footage of police officers arresting alleged criminals.

In addition to adding “Homicide” to its lineup, on Jan. 1, Court TV launched an all-new primetime lineup.

Anchored by “Homicide” at 9 p.m., Court TV’s primetime ratings have climbed from hash marks to the 0.3 to 0.4 range.