CBS Television Distribution has sold its new syndicated court show Swift Justice with Nancy Grace to station groups that include Fox Television Stations (in markets that include New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), Tribune Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, CBS Television Stations, LIN TV and others. The show, which will debut in fall 2010, will air as back-to-back half-hour episodes, mostly in afternoon and early fringe timeslots.
CBS Television Distribution has sold first-run strip Swift Justice with Nancy Grace for fall 2010 in 80 percent of the country. Station groups picking up the show include Fox Television Stations, Tribune Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, CBS Television Stations, LIN TV and others.
“The very first week of November is when we started to make presentations to the major station groups,” says Joe DiSalvo, president of sales at CTD. “In about three weeks, we’re in 80 percent of the country. I think stations really see the potential of a personality like Nancy Grace to be host of a television show.”
A court show with a different spin, Swift will air as back-to-back half-hour episodes, mostly in afternoon and early fringe timeslots.
Fox will carry Swift in 13 markets, including in the top three DMAs: WNYW New York, KTTV Los Angeles and WFLD Chicago.
CTD sold Swift for two-year deals covering the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
It was sold on a barter-only, no-cash basis (4 minutes national, 3.5 local ). Stations are getting an additional, isolated 30-second premium spot for promos or sponsorships.
Swift stars Nancy Grace, who since 2005 has been hosting Nancy Grace on Turner’s cable news network HLN (formerly Headline News).
HLN’s audience has swelled since Nancy Grace debuted on the network’s reworked primetime lineup, which morphed from half-hour newscasts to hour-long programs.
The network’s audience has more than doubled from 2004, to an average 514,000 viewers in October.
From 1997 to 2007, Grace — a former lawyer — hosted Closing Arguments on Court TV (now truTV).
She’s well known for her blond hair, heavy makeup and combativeness with guests.
Swift Justice is Grace’s first foray into broadcast syndication.
“I think you see in the shows we have that you need a strong personality — somebody’s who going to drive the show, with good content and storytelling behind it,” says DiSalvo.
DiSalvo declined to discuss the show’s format or content when asked about it.
Swift is the first major deal for CTD since Oprah Winfrey confirmed that her top-rated CTD show will end its broadcast syndication run in 2011.
“This year, 2010, there aren’t going to be a lot of options for people, as far as new television shows are concerned,” says DiSalvo. “To have the first first-run show, a new production, clear this extensively for 2010 is really exciting for us.”