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‘Cold Case’ hot at TNT

Net to pay $1.4 mil per episode

NEW YORK — TNT will pony up $1.4 million an episode for cable rights to the reruns of “Cold Case.”

That figure reps a record payout for TNT, eclipsing the $1.35 million the network shelled out last year for the cable exclusive to “Without a Trace.”

Earlier this month, Spike TV agreed to fork over $1.9 million an hour for “CSI: NY” — more money for an off-net hour than any network has paid before.

TNT paid the distributor, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable, a lot more money than it had anticipated in the face of aggressive bids from competing cable nets such as Lifetime and A&E.

TNT and Warner Bros. Domestic both are owned by Time Warner, but because Jerry Bruckheimer TV is a big profit participant, Warner Bros. made sure it pitched “Cold Case” to every cable network that schedules reruns before arriving at the $1.4 million pricetag.

That license fee covers both TNT’s five-a-week plays of “Cold Case” beginning in fall 2007 and the once-a-week plays starting next fall. Warner Bros. also has retained the contractual right to sell reruns of the series in weekend syndication, simultaneous with their plays on TNT, beginning in fall ’07.

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