Court TV Says: Book 'Em!

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Court TV has signed a three-book deal with Harper Collins.

The crime and investigation programming network is teaming up with the publisher's paperback division for a series of true-crime books on criminal investigations.

Each will be written by a Court TV reporter, with a forward by network anchor Catherine Crier.

The first book, on the killing of American college student Jamie Penich in South Korea, will be written by CourtTV.com senior correspondent Harriet Ryan. It is targeted to hit stands in September 2006. The second, penned by Court TV Trials Editor Wayne Loewe and L.A. writer Tori Richards, will be issued in March 2007, and the third book in and June 2007.

Spinning off books from popular TV franchises has helped networks monetize their brands off screen in the past. One particularly synergistic instance, for example, was ABC's partnership with fellow Disney owned-entity Hyperion earlier this year to publish The Killing Club.

The best-selling book was actually written by the show's former head writer Michael Malone, but the first byline on the cover went to "Marcie Walsh," a character from ABC daytime soap One Life to Live.

Marcie's penning of the book was woven into the storyline of the show for months leading up to the actual book's release date. The Killing Club's back cover featured a picture of the actress who played Marcie on the soap opera and in turn, One Life to Live featured Hyperion's president in an episode about a release party for the thriller.

Court TV, owned by Time Warner and Liberty Media Corp., averaged 822,000 total viewers in prime during third quarter, down 12% from last year. Scott Meredith Literary Agency president Arthur Klebanoff repped the network on its book deal.

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