LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS has ordered a fifth installment of its successful “Jesse Stone” movie franchise, starring Tom Selleck as a small-town police chief.
In addition, Hallmark Channel has acquired the first four movies, from series producer Sony Pictures Television, with the first, “Stone Cold,” set to air at 9 p.m. August 4.
The newest installment of the franchise, based on the best-selling series of novels by Robert B. Parker, is titled “Jesse Stone: Thin Ice.” In the movie, Jesse (Selleck) finds that his job is in jeopardy after the attempted murder of State Police Capt. Healy (Stephen McHattie), his close friend and colleague; he also attempts to solve a kidnapping case that was supposed to have been solved years ago.
The movie is set to start shooting in August in Nova Scotia, with the airdate to be determined.
The franchise has done well for CBS. The first movie averaged 18 million total viewers in 2005, while the next two movies — “Jesse Stone: Night Passage” and “Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise” — averaged 14 million and 14.9 million, respectively, in 2006. The most recent installment, “Jesse Stone: Sea Change,” averaged 13.4 million in May opposite the finale of ABC’s hit series “Dancing With the Stars.”
Meanwhile, Hallmark has an exclusive three-year window on each of the first four titles. “Stone Cold’s” window kicked in first, starting this month.