Canuck hit ‘Inquest’ investigates U.S. sale

Colbert offering cable nets 91 hours of CBC show

NEW YORK — The bull market for reruns of TV police procedurals like “CSI” and “Law & Order” has driven indie distributor Program Partners to buy U.S. rights to Canadian crime drama “Da Vinci’s Inquest.”

“There’s a huge appetite by cable networks in the States like Spike, USA, A&E and TNT for these kinds of series,” said Ritch Colbert, who runs Program Partners with Josh Raphaelson.

Colbert cited the record price of $1.92 million per episode ponied up by USA and Bravo for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and the $1.9 million shelled out by Spike TV for “CSI: New York.”

Colbert is offering cable nets 91 hours of “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” a show commissioned by the CBC that costs $1 million an episode. Nicholas Campbell stars as a coroner who works with homicide detectives, forensic investigators and pathologists to bring murderers to justice.

Skein is in its seventh season on the CBC and has won a number of Canadian Gemini awards, including dramatic series for six years in a row.

Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films, headed by Tim Gamble and Michael Shephard, is working with Program Partners to market “Da Vinci’s” in the U.S. The two companies will take the series to the NATPE convention in Las Vegas later this month. Alliance Atlantis has the rights to the skein outside the U.S. and Canada.

Two-year-old Program Partners owns the rights to the series “Animal Miracles With Alan Thicke,” which it sold to Animal Planet for its daytime lineup.