TNT Reups Leverage

TNT said has reupped its original heist drama Leverage, committing to a second-season run of 15 episodes.

The Timothy Hutton vehicle debuted Dec. 7 to 5.6 million total viewers and 2.37 million viewers 18-49, per Nielsen live-plus-seven-day ratings data. Season-to-date, the show has averaged 3.52 million viewers and 1.4 million viewers 18-49 in its Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot.

The commercial-free premiere of Leverage was sponsored by Hyundai. DirecTV and Hewlett-Packard signed on as sponsors for the second episode, and all three clients have appeared in integrations throughout season one.

According to Michael Wright, executive vp, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, Leverage will return for its sophomore run later this year.

“We’re thrilled that audiences and critics have responded so positively to Leverage and made the show a solid hit,” Wright said. “We look forward to another great season of fun and exciting storylines.”

The renewal is the latest move by TNT in its aggressive plan to ramp up original series production. (The network aims to have 60 percent of its prime-time lineup devoted to original content by 2010.) In keeping with that strategy, the net recently greenlighted two new series: Time Heals, a medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith, and the cop drama The Line, starring Dylan McDermott.