Program Partners clears 'Crime Watch' procedural drama block in 60 per cent of the US

MUMBAI: Following the success of its US syndication of Da Vinci’s Inquest, Program Partners has announced that its new Crime Watch initiative has been cleared in more than 60 per cent of the US.

This includes stations in the ABC owned, Viacom, Young and The WB groups. The new two-hour block—consisting of off-network procedural dramas Cold Squad and Stone Undercover will make its debut this week at NATPE in Las Vegas.

Program Partners is a television company that collaborates with networks, sponsors and audiences on original programming. Program Partners' Ritch Colbert says, "Clearly, Crime Watch has what stations want right now. The hot trend on network television and now in syndication is the procedural crime drama, and our series are critically-acclaimed, award-winning and have budgets of over $1.2 million per episode. That’s creating terrific momentum for us.”

Program Partners created the Crime Watch initiative to provide stations with an ongoing pipeline of new procedural dramas. Cold Squad and Stone Undercover are designed to air in prime-time on weekends, replacing down-trending movie showcases, or in late-night on traditional affiliates, in horizontal or vertical stacks, as a news lead-out or to expand existing procedural drama rotations.

To give stations programming and scheduling flexibility, Program Partners will provide Crime Watch affiliates a choice of satellite feeds, with two different episodes of Cold Squad and one of Stone Undercover available each week.

Cold Squad has Sgt. Ali McCormick leading a team of forensic investigators and pathologists who uncover and resolve long abandoned and forgotten cases.

Stone Undercover is based on the exploits of a pair of commercial crime fighters. The series revolves around the relationship between Tom Stone, an ex-cop, ex-oil rig worker and ex-con who goes undercover, and Sgt. Marina Di Luzio, his boss. Together they catch the bad guys who would normally get away -- criminals with influence and money, who think they’re above the law.

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