News roundup: '30 Rock,' 'Old Christine,' 'CSI'


Comedy Central and WGN America are getting a piece of "30 Rock" in a couple of years.

The two cable channels have locked up the off-network rights to the Emmy-winning NBC comedy. They'll start airing repeats of the show in 2011, by which time "30 Rock" will have somewhere on the order of 100 episodes in the can. (WGN America and Zap2it are both owned by the Tribune.)

Reports say NBC Universal, which distributes the show, got a combined $800,000 per episode for the show, a little higher than the $750,000 fellow NBC comedy "The Office" received two years ago. No broadcast syndication deal for "30 Rock" is in place yet.

In other syndication news, Lifetime has picked up exclusive rights to CBS' "New Adventures of Old Christine."

The deal gives Lifetime the exclusive cable rights for the entire run of the series; 88 episodes have already been produced. "Old Christine" will begin its cable run in fall 2010.

The showbiz trade papers peg the price at about $350,000 per episode, plus some ad-time considerations.

"CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker is sticking with CBS.

Zuiker and his company, Dare to Pass, have signed a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. The two-year agreement calls for him to remain as an executive producer on all three "CSI" shows, but the primary focus is on developing new projects, the trade papers report.

Zuiker says he wants to focus on ideas that can carry from platform to platform so viewers can follow the show when it's not airing on TV.

Hope Davis is stepping in to play Hillary Clinton in an HBO movie.

Davis, who starred in HBO's "In Treatment" earlier this year, will star opposite Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton in "The Special Relationship," about the dynamic between the former president and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Davis is taking over for Julianne Moore, who had a scheduling conflict with her feature film "The Kids Are Alright," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Sheen will play Blair, a role he's tackled before in "The Queen" and the British TV movie "The Deal." Helen McCrory will play Blair's wife, Cherie, a role she also played in "The Queen."

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