Television's hottest team of con artists, grifters, hackers and thieves will be back again as TNT lines up a third season of its fast-paced drama series Leverage, starring Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People), Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (TNT's Into the West), Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights). The network has ordered 15 episodes of the series, which is currently in its second season, airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The show's summer finale will air Wednesday, Sept. 9. It will then return to complete the second season in winter, with the third season slated to air in summer 2010.
"Thanks in large part to its engaging cast and clever storytelling, Leverage has proven itself to be one of the most exciting and fun hours on television," said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "The producers, cast and crew have been incredible to work with, and we anticipate another wonderful season."
Leverage is executive-produced by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT's The Librarian) and creators John Rogers (Transformers) and Chris Downey (The King of Queens). It comes to the network from Devlin's Electric Entertainment and is one of six high-profile original dramas that have populated TNT's Monday-Wednesday lineup this summer. The six series, which include The Closer, Raising the Bar, Hawthorne, Saving Grace and Dark Blue, are part of an aggressive TNT strategy to build a slate of quality original programming in primetime.
Leverage scored big in its first season, ranking as ad-supported cable's #1 show in its timeslot with an average of 3.9 million viewers. The second season has averaged 4.1 million viewers* and ranks as ad-supported cable's #1 Wednesday program in delivery of adults 25-54 and #1 Wednesday drama among viewers and households. The show is enjoying solid growth when compared to its first season, with viewers up 5% and households up 7%.
Leverage scores tremendously well with DVR users, garnering an extraordinary 66% growth among adults 25-54 when comparing Live to Live + 7 viewing.
In Leverage, Hutton stars as Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator determined to bring down the kind of corrupt bigwigs whose neglect led to the death of his son. His highly skilled team includes Sophie Devereaux (Bellman), a grifter who uses her acting skills to corner her marks; Eliot Spencer (Kane), a "retrieval specialist" with bone-crunching fighting skills; Alec Hardison (Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team connected and informed; and Parker (Riesgraf), a slightly off-center thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.