Cable-broadcast crossovers are increasingly common — and lucrative — these days.
Just witness the Nielsen jolt Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” got when NBC slotted episodes on its primetime sked.
But that was all in the family, and cross-conglom ties are a no-no.
Two years ago, NBC got into hot water with sister cable nets MSNBC and CNBC for becoming too cozy with Court TV.
NBC had struck a deal to run episodes of Court TV’s signature series “Forensic Files” in late summer and early fall of 2002. The series did well enough on NBC in the late summer on Sunday night, that the Peacock picked up four more episodes for Saturdays in October.
The extraordinary visibility given “Forensic Files” in its NBC run caused a spike in the show’s ratings on Court TV, attracting viewers from NBC who were discovering “Forensic Files” for the first time.
But MSNBC and CNBC said enough is enough, and put a stop to further runs of “Forensic” on NBC.
Ironically, Court TV still does lots of business with NBC.
They jointly produce the “Dateline”/Court TV Exclusives that run periodically on NBC’s “Dateline” newsmag. NBC News Prods. delivers the occasional “Safety Challenge” specials for primetime on Court TV, as well as one-shots such as the recent primetime doc on the Denver trial of Kobe Bryant. Court TV’s investigative reporter Diane Dimond also appears from time to time on NBC’s “Dateline” and “The Today Show.”
But in all of those instances, NBC is not promoting a specific weekly series.