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TNT Seeks Ratings Grace with Pilot

8/12/2005 10:42 AM Eastern

Looking to back up successful series launches The Closer and Wanted, Turner Network Television has ordered an hour-long pilot for Grace, a supernatural-flavored series centering on a jaded police officer who encounters an angel.

The Grace pilot is from Spelling Television, the producer of Wanted, which debuted on July 31.That Sunday night show, which follows a group of elite law officers who track down the most wanted criminals in California, averaged a 2.6 household rating for its first two premiere runs, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The show’s performance follows on the heels of TNT’s successful June launch of the Kyra Sedgwick drama The Closer. Through eight premiere episodes, the skein, which has already been renewed for a second season, averaged a 4.4 household rating -- including a basic-cable record 5.9 with its June 13 bow.

TNT and TBS executive vice president and chief operating officer Steve Koonin said Wanted’s success is due in part to piggybacking on the network’s NASCAR coverage. He added that the TV-MA-rated show’s gritty, fast-paced premise is tailored to appeal to the stock-car racing fan.

“NASCAR and Wanted have a lot of the same elements of drama: the danger, the speed and adrenaline,” Koonin said. “By pairing them together and using the huge NASCAR audiences to promote Wanted, we believe we’ll have great success.”

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