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Damages to Get a New Life on DirecTV

Patty Hewes may live to fight another day: While FX has said no to more of the Glenn Close–led Damages after three seasons, producer Sony Pictures Television has locked up a deal to put a fourth and fifth seasons of the show on the 101, the DirecTV-only network which previously saved Friday Night Lights from being sacked.

When EW.com's Michael Ausiello broke the news last spring that Sony was shopping Damages to new homes, including DirecTV, there was much media skepticism about the idea. The show has struggled to find a big audience on FX, attracting fewer than one million viewers for its April finale; more than one outlet pooh-poohed the notion that any reasonable network would want to pick up the show. But DirecTV is serious about turning the 101 into a real destination for quality shows, and with Close snagging two Emmy wins for Best Actress (and another nomination earlier this month), Damages could be a great way to keep folks buzzing about the channel (particularly since the next season of Friday Night Lights is likely to be its last). Sony is also a motivated seller: Close's global star power has helped make Damages a lucrative international asset, with overseas broadcasters paying big for the right to air the show. As a result, Sony was able to offer DirecTV Damages at a reasonable price (though insiders insist the network isn't getting it for a bargain basement sum, either).

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/FX