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Bochco Settles Fox Studio Suit

April 9, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Averting a trial that was scheduled to begin Monday, ``NYPD Blue″ producer Steven Bochco reached a settlement with 20th Century Fox over the sale of his series into syndication, the studio said.

The deal allows Bochco and 20th Century Fox to take ``NYPD Blue″ reruns into the open market, according to Steven Melnick, a spokesman for the studio.

Bochco filed suit against Fox over the sale of reruns to the FX cable network for about $400,000 per episode. Both the Fox television studio and FX are owned by News Corp.

Bochco contended that ``NYPD Blue″ would have done better on the open market than it did in the deal reached by two corporate siblings.

He stands to do much better now. At the time the deal was made, the $400,000 price was a record syndication sale for a drama. With more networks competing for programming, prices have escalated to the extent that TNN recently paid about $1.5 million per episode for the rights to show ``CSI: Crime Scene Investigation″ reruns. Bravo also paid just under $1.4 million per episode for reruns of ``The West Wing.″

Ironically, FX, which has subsequently made deals for ``The Practice″ and ``The X-Files,″ is unlikely to be an aggressive bidder to keep ``NYPD Blue.″

Actor David Duchovny filed a similar lawsuit about the sale of ``The X-Files″ reruns to FX. It was also settled before reaching trial.

Bochco’s lawyer, Frank Rohner, did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment on Monday.

``The dispute has been amicably resolved to the mutual benefit of all parties,″ Melnick said.

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