Talk about family values: NBC will preview the new series “Mysterious Ways” next month before it moves to Pax TV in August.
NBC, which owns 32% of Pax, is expected to air six episodes of the drama beginning July 24 at 8 p.m. The series officially premieres on Pax Aug. 22 at 8 p.m.
“We sent over a couple of episodes and the research was good, they really liked the show,” said Jeff Sagansky, prexy-CEO at Paxson Communications. “This helps with the promotional machine, to get awareness for the show.”
Sagansky said the “Mysterious Ways” preview also gives NBC more original summer programming. Should “Mysterious Ways” perform for the Peacock, NBC has rights to continue airing the series in conjunction with Pax.
“We could air it in the same way they made an arrangement with USA to run ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ ” Sagansky said.
“Mysterious Ways,” which stars Adrian Pasdar as an anthropology professor who explores supernatural phenomena, was actually first developed at NBC by exec Karey Burke. The Peacock later passed on the project, which eventually ended up at Pax.
“NBC was helpful in getting us the rights to the material and participating in the development,” Sagansky said. For example, the network steered Pax toward casting Pasdar (best known for his stint on Fox’s “Profit”).
Pax will begin using its airtime to promote the NBC run of the show, Sagansky said. “Mysterious Ways,” which comes from Lions Gate Television, is exec produced by Peter O’Fallon and Carl Binder.
NBC’s “Mysterious Ways” window is the latest chapter in the move toward more program sharing between the Peacock and Pax. NBC affiliates have balked at the network’s move to repurpose programming on Pax, but a number of station groups remain in talks to seal a joint sales agreement with the Pax outlets in their markets.
Pax stations in the NBC O&O markets are set to rebroadcast the local stations’ newscasts by the end of July.
Meanwhile, Sagansky confirmed that Pax has decided not to revive the quizshow “Twenty One.” The broadcaster had been in talks with NBC Studios to purchase rights to produce new episodes of the Maury Povich-hosted gamer after NBC didn’t renew it (Daily Variety, May 16). Pax had been airing repeats of “Twenty One” episodes that aired earlier on NBC.