Crime genre gets own channel

NBC Universal is launching a new cable channel that will give viewers round-the-clock access to mystery and crime shows, the Associated Press reported this afternoon.

The channel, known as Sleuth, will take its place on the airwaves January 1. At first, it will be available to about 5 million homes that subscribe to Time Warner Cable.

Due to this low distribution number, Sleuth has no plans to air original programming until it finds its footing and can reach more viewers, NBC Universal said. Instead, it will rely on reruns of shows such as Miami Vice, The A-Team, and Knight Rider for the next two years. Movies like Scarface, Casino, and The Jackal will also be broadcast on Sleuth.

The decision to launch a mystery-and-crime channel was prompted by the recent surge in interest for the genre. Shows like CSI and NCIS have far surpassed the once-ubiquitous sitcom, and reruns of the Law & Order franchise are doing quite well in syndication.

Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, stated that "There definitely seems to be an endless taste for viewing of this genre that gave us a lot of confidence to go in this direction."

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