TNN picks up Warner pics

66 older films purchased for $20 mil

NEW YORK — Warner Bros. Domestic Cable has sold cable TV rights to 66 older movies to TNN, the Viacom-owned network, for a total license fee of about $20 million.

Titles include “Body Heat,” “Mean Streets,” “Oh God!,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Towering Inferno” and “Young Guns.”

“We’ve got three primetime movie nights a week to fill, and we’re looking for movies with some recognizable stars,” says Diane Robina, executive VP and GM of TNN.

TNN has not stepped up to buy the first network window of any theatrical movie, which can cost millions of dollars for one title (depending on domestic box office gross). Instead, the network has paid the biggest bucks for rerun series such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “VIP” and the last three “Star Trek” skeins. The $1.6 million-an-hour license fee TNN paid King World for “CSI” is the highest that any off-network series has fetched from a cable network. And TNN will end up paying Paramount TV more than $350 million in total for the “Trek” series.

TNN will fill its movie nights with less expensive pictures made in the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. Earlier this year, TNN bought 43 older movies from sister company Paramount, including “Top Gun,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Crocodile’ Dundee,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Airplane!” and the first two “Godfather” movies.