No Rest for Sleeper Cell


For two weeks in December, Showtime plans to blanket its program schedule with terrorism drama Sleeper Cell, as the network tries to grab eyeballs with a “multiplay” strategy.

A new installment of the 10-episode thriller (about an undercover F.B.I. agent who infiltrates a Los Angeles-based Islamic terrorist cell) will debut in the 10-11 pm. ET slot, Sundays through Wednesdays, starting Dec. 4. In other words, episodes 1-4 run Dec. 4-7 and episodes 5-8 run Dec. 11-14.

The remaining episodes—nine and 10—will air back-to-back as a two-hour grand finale on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 8-10 p.m.

In addition, the pay channel will run liberal doses of Sleeper Cell encores. After the conclusion of a new episode in the four-night run, that episode will immediately repeat at 11 p.m. Other encores will run from 8-10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Four-part “mini-marathons” are planned for Dec. 10 and Dec. 17

The two-hour finale will repeat at 10 p.m., immediately following its original telecast.

In a release, Showtime Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt said Sleeper Cell’s condensed scheduling “underscores the momentum of the initial storyline, yet does not preclude it continuing as a weekly series.”