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NBC Launches Channel for Mystery Shows

Getty ImagesSleuth will give viewers what they really want: David Hasselhoff and a talking car on a regular basis.

NEW YORK (Nov. 2) - NBC Universal said Wednesday it will start a new cable channel, Sleuth, to appeal to fans of mystery and crime shows.

Sleuth begins Jan. 1 and will initially be seen in about 5 million homes that have Time Warner Cable.

It will join the growing media company's stable of networks, including USA, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and Sci Fi.

For at least the first couple years, Sleuth's programming will consist mainly of old reruns in the Universal library, such as "Miami Vice," "The A-Team" and "Knight Rider." The movies "Scarface," "The Jackal" and "Casino" will also be in the mix.

"There definitely seems to be an endless taste for viewing of this genre that gave us a lot of confidence to go in this direction," said Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment.

Led by CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the genre is clearly the most popular in prime-time television these days.

NBC's prominent "Law & Order" series, both the original and its spinoffs, do big business in syndication for TNT and USA. They won't be a part of Sleuth.

Gaspin said he didn't anticipate Sleuth will have any original programming for at least a couple years. The initial low distribution for the channel makes such an investment too costly.

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