Bill posted the news of this deal last night, but here’s the official press release from TNT:
TNT Lands Exclusive Syndication Rights to Hit Drama Series THE MENTALIST in Multi-Year Pact with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Acclaimed Series Starring Emmy® Nominee Simon Baker and Created by Bruno Heller (Rome) Slated for Fall 2012 Off-Net Debut
TNT has acquired exclusive syndication rights to THE MENTALIST from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, commencing in 2012. Currently in its second season on CBS, THE MENTALIST has emerged as one of the hottest shows on broadcast television. The top-rated series was the #1 new program of the 2008-2009 television season among total viewers and households and won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Drama.
THE MENTALIST will join a TNT lineup that includes many hit acquired series, along with network originals such as The Closer, Saving Grace, HawthoRNe, Leverage and the upcoming Men of a Certain Age. TNT also recently picked up Warner Bros. Television’s Southland.
“THE MENTALIST is a terrific show that will be an ideal fit for TNT’s already strong lineup,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “The early success of the series also indicates THE MENTALIST has a great future.”
“Everyone recognized early on that THE MENTALIST was an A-tier drama, the kind of program that would have a profoundly positive effect on its cable licensee,” said Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “As a result, the demand for the off-network rights began almost immediately following its debut on CBS last fall and has steadily increased as the show blossomed into a true broadcast hit.”
In addition to being a commercial hit, THE MENTALIST is critically acclaimed, with the Television Critics Association nominating the series as Outstanding New Program of the Year. The Washington Post said star Simon Baker was “such a sly and commanding presence that he holds your attention in every scene,” while USA Today praised the show as “well-cast, well-written,” and Entertainment Weekly declared it “a fun, fast-paced treat.”
THE MENTALIST stars Golden Globe® and Emmy® nominee Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor-sharp skills of observation.
Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits were feigned. Jane’s role in cracking a series of tough, high-profile cases is greatly valued by his fellow agents. No-nonsense Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney – Prison Break) openly resists having Jane in her unit and alternates between reluctantly acknowledging Jane’s usefulness and blasting him for his theatrics, narcissism and dangerous lack of boundaries.
Lisbon’s team includes agents Kimball Cho (Tim Kang – Third Watch), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman – Generation Kill) and rookie member Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti – The O.C.), who all think Jane’s a loose cannon but admire his charm and knack for clearing cases.
THE MENTALIST is from Warner Bros. Television and is executive-produced by Bruno Heller (Rome) and Chris Long (Gilmore Girls).
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) is one of the leading suppliers of entertainment programming to the domestic television marketplace, distributing first-run syndicated series, off-network television programs and theatrical motion pictures to local broadcast television stations, as well as to pay, cable, satellite and broadcast networks throughout the U.S. WBDTD handles the domestic distribution of television series produced by Warner Bros. Television, Telepictures Productions, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Horizon Television; selected HBO Independent Productions and the Lorimar Television library; current feature films from Warner Bros. Pictures; and the Studio’s unmatched motion picture library.
Warner Bros. Television (WBTV) is one of the entertainment industry’s most respected providers of original content, producing award-winning drama and comedy series for both broadcast network television and cable. For the 2009-2010 television season, WBTV is producing more than 25 primetime series, with at least one show on each of the five broadcast networks. New programs include the one-hour drama The Vampire Diaries, the #1 show on The CW; one-hour shows Human Target and Past Life for Fox; the hourlong V, Eastwick and The Forgotten, as well as half-hour comedies The Middle and Hank for ABC; and an untitled medical drama from Jerry Bruckheimer Television for midseason on CBS, among others. Continuing programs include TV’s #1 comedy among households and total viewers in Two and a Half Men, TV’s #1 comedy among adults 18-49 in The Big Bang Theory, the #1 new program of 2008-2009 among households and total viewers in The Mentalist, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-starring comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine and veteran drama Cold Case for CBS; the #1 new program of 2008-2009 among adults 18-49 in Fringe for Fox; Chuck for NBC; and Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Smallville and Supernatural for The CW. WBTV also produces The Closer and Southland for TNT and Nip/Tuck for FX.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama and home to such original series as the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Raising the Bar, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; and Dark Blue, starring Dylan McDermott, as well as the newly acquired Southland, from ER creator John Wells. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, CSI: NY and Numb3rs; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.