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U.K.’s Five picks up ‘Mentalist’

Broadcaster to air series next year

LONDON — British terrestrial web Five has nabbed U.K. rights to Warner Bros. crime drama “The Mentalist.”

The deal with Warner Bros. Intl. Television Distribution gives the broadcaster rights to air the skein on digital spin-off station Five US as well as core channel Five next year.

Katie Keenan, Five’s deputy controller of acquisitions, said: “Top-notch storytelling combined with a charismatic lead made ‘The Mentalist’ the best show by far of the L.A. screenings. ‘The Mentalist’ is the perfect complement to Five’s drama slate.”

The RTL wholly-owned web is Blighty’s biggest terrestrial user of U.S. shows. Its schedule drivers include the “CSI” franchise, “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“The Mentalist” stars Simon Baker of “The Devil Wears Prada” fame as crime buster Patrick Jane and was created by Bruno Heller, whose credits include the BBC-HBO co-pro “Rome.”

Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, prexy, Warner Bros. Intl. Television, said: “‘The Mentalist’ was one of the most highly anticipated series of the fall season in the U.S.

“It is an accessible hour featuring the best elements of a procedural coupled with character-based drama focused on a charming yet haunted protagonist played by Simon Baker.”