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TNT Charmed, to Share Smallville With WB

TNT has acquired the off-network rights to up to eight seasons of Charmed from Paramount Television for $600,000 an episode, plus an additional $150,000 per episode for rights to a second-run window. TNT has also gained rights to an immediate second run of Charmed within a week of its original airing on the WB, beginning in September.

TNT will "strip," meaning, air it Monday through Friday, Charmed beginning the fall of 2002. Paramount plans to put the show into weekend syndication simultaneously.

TNT was interested in Charmed because the episodes are mostly self-contained and not serialized. It will also help the cable network attract younger women.

The WB recently finalized a three-year renewal deal for Charmed, which starts its fourth season this  September, though without star Shannen Doherty. First-run episodes will air 9 p.m. Thursdays on The WB. TNT can't air the second run of the show until 10 p.m.

When Turner Broadcasting CEO Jamie Kellner took over The WB, he made it a priority to share programming between the WB and the Turner nets. The dual window allows The WB to recover a show's production costs faster. The WB is also considering sharing Smallville, Gilmore Girls and Felicity with TNT. TNT also might develop an original series with the WB, and then share broadcast windows.

TNT's latest original series, Witchblade, premieres next June 12.