Sony Pictures Television skein that ran for three seasons on FX is moving over to DirecTV. The satellite provider, which has increased its original programming slate on the 101 Network, has ordered two 10-episode seasons. The first season will air next summer with the season series launching in the summer of 2012.
Glenn Close and Rose Byrne have been confirmed to return with other thesps set to sign on soon.
“Damages” has long connected with the critical and kudos community, but not with viewers. Ratings on FX had been disappointing since the show’s launch in 2007 and Sony made it a priority to work out a deal with the satcaster to keep the show alive. New episodes will run on DirecTV and not FX, a deal different than DirecTV’s pact with the Peacock on “Friday Night Lights.”
In that situation, “Friday Night Lights” runs on DirecTV first and then shifts to NBC. Not so with “Damages.”
Not including live-plus-7 data, “Damages” averaged 1.3 viewers in season three, down 46% from season one and off about 62% in the 18-49 demo.
Close has been Emmy-nominated once again for her role as manipulative attorney Patty Hewes. She has won the Emmy for lead actress in a drama two years running.
Besides Close, four other “Damages” thesps were nominated this year: Byrne and Martin Short for supporting, while Ted Danson and Lily Tomlin were tabbed for their guest spots.
DirecTV is still looking for a topper following the departure of Eric Shanks, who returned to Fox Sports as president in the spring. Shanks has a long history with Fox and was asked to come back by sports chairman David Hill.
“Damages” is exec produced by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman.