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TNT adds more 'Leverage' as hit caper is renewed

by jmaloni
Sat, Aug 13th 2011 02:40 am

TNT has renewed its fast-paced, light-hearted caper drama "Leverage" for a fifth season, just as the fourth season is shaping up to score the show's biggest ratings yet. TNT has ordered 15 episodes of "Leverage," with the fifth season slated to launch in summer 2012. The series - which centers on a gang of grifters, hackers and thieves out to settle scores against the rich and powerful - currently airs Sunday at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). After the show's Aug. 28 summer finale, "Leverage" will return to wrap up its fourth season with new episodes in November and December.

"Leverage" is the latest high-profile series renewal from TNT following new season orders for "Rizzoli & Isles," which is running neck-and-neck with TNT's "The Closer" as basic cable's No. 1 series; "Falling Skies," which ranks as basic cable's No. 1 new series for the year-to-date; and "Franklin & Bash," which ranks among basic cable's Top 10 new series this summer.

"Leverage" premiered in 2008 and has grown its audience in each of its four seasons. This summer, leading into TNT's new blockbuster hit "Falling Skies," "Leverage" has expanded its audience to more than 4.8 million viewers, up 10 percent over season three, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (+6 percent) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (+9 percent).

"While many shows decline in their second, third or fourth seasons, 'Leverage' has defied the odds and continued to climb," said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "More and more viewers are discovering this weekly joy ride through wonderfully complex schemes and con games, all brought to life through smart writing, sharp directing and a terrific cast."

"Leverage" stars Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton as insurance-investigator-turned-thief Nate Ford, who makes it his mission to bring down those who use their power and wealth to victimize others. Also starring are Gina Bellman as brilliant grifter Sophie Devereaux, Christian Kane as retrieval specialist Eliot Spencer, Beth Riesgraf as slightly off-center thief Parker, and Aldis Hodge as gadget and technology wizard Alec Hardison. "Leverage" is produced by Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment, with Devlin and creators John Rogers and Chris Downey serving as executive producers.

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