Parting really will be sweet sorrow for A&E Network, which is about to
lose its prized acquired drama, Law & Order. As of Labor Day, Turner Network Television
becomes the exclusive cable home for the hit NBC drama.
TNT and A&E have been sharing Law & Order since last summer,
airing different seasons at different times. It's been a ratings workhorse for
both, regularly popping averages above 1.5.
Under a 10-year deal, TNT is paying about $800,000 for the most recent episodes and
$250,000 for shows A&E has already played. Beginning Sept. 2, TNT will air
Law & Order weekdays at noon and 7 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Mondays and Tuesdays.
The show has been a tremendous bargain for A&E, which has paid just
$155,000 per episode since September 1994.
Now, A&E will lean on another NBC drama, Third Watch, paying about
$700,000 per episode for the show's three seasons. Third Watch debuts on
A&E Sept. 1, airing weeknights at 11 p.m. EST.