"Leverage" renewed for fifth season
TNT has renewed its hit caper series “Leverage,” which stars Norman-bred actor/singer Christian Kane, for a fifth season, just as the fourth season is shaping up to score the show’s biggest ratings yet.
The fifth season is scheduled to launch in summer 2012, and TNT has ordered 15 episodes for the next season. The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday nights. After the show’s Aug. 28 summer finale, “Leverage” will wrap up its fourth season with new episodes in November and December.
Kane plays “retrieval specialist” Eliot Spencer, the heavy hitter on a five-person team of professional criminals who use their skills to help people victimized by the wealthy, the corrupt and the powerful. Led by former insurance investigator Nathan Ford (Oscar winner Timothy Hutton), the team also includes grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) and cat burglar Parker (Beth Riesgraf).
“We’re still all best friends, and that just doesn’t happen on TV shows. After four years, somebody doesn’t like anyone. I mean, there’s a war going on somewhere in the cast. I’m sorry, that’s just how it is,” Kane told me in a recent phone interview. “We get done with 12-, 13-, 14-hour days and we all get in our cars and go to dinner to eat together. That’s how close we are. It’s a very tight-knit cast. I mean, we are closer than the actual characters on the show.”
“Leverage” premiered in 2008 and has grown its audience in each of its four seasons. This summer, leading into “Falling Skies,” the series has expanded its audience to more than 4.8 million viewers, up 10 percent over Season 3, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (up 6 percent) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (up 9 percent), according to TNT.
“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 in today’s renewal announcement. “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.”
Along with the close cast, Kane also credited the canny writing for making “Leverage” successful.
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