After a last second court settlement late Friday, off-network episodes of
NYPD Blue are now up for grabs.
Avoiding the trial that was supposed to
start Monday, NYPD Blue's co-owner, 20th Century Fox, settled with the show's other
co-owner, executive producer Steven Bochco, for the release of the series from
its current FX home starting in fall 2001.
From a lawsuit
filed last year, Bochco alleged that Fox had sold FX, its sister network under
News Corp., NYPD Blue for a
lowballed price, arguing that the show was worth $700,000 per episode versus the
$400,000 it went for in 1995.
However, Fox (News Corp. syndication division Twentieth Television actually
sells the police drama on its behalf) maintained that the $400,000 was a
record-breaking price at that time. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed
due to a confidentiality agreement.
Complaining about supposed injustices of vertically
integrated companies has happened before - last May, David Duchovny settled a
lawsuit regarding Fox's sale of The X-Files to FX. At this point, it's hard to
say if buyers will find NYPD Blue a valuable
property, several years after it debuted on FX in 1997, but there's a chance
that the show could go for more than $700,000.
Reportedly, Columbia Tri-Star Television Distribution is
asking $1 million per for arguably lower-profile Dawson's Creek, and
recently, TNN: The National Network paid a sky-high $1.5 million for CSI: Crime Scene