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Netflix buys streaming rights to entire 'Mad Men' series

Netflix has inked a deal with Lionsgate TV for streaming rights to “Mad Men” reruns, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The deal covers all four seasons of the AMC drama series that have already aired as well as the show’s three final seasons, 91 episodes in total. The final seasons will only become available to Netflix’s 20 million-plus subscribers after the entire season has aired on AMC. The series will debut on the Internet subscription service, which is paying nearly $1 million per episode, on July 27.

The deal is yet another sign that Netflix is making a push into television’s turf, following on the heels of its original programming acquisition of “House of Cards,” a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey.

The announcement, which follows a string of deals with film studios Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, among others, as well as partnerships with TV networks including NBC and ABC, comes as the company faces growing competition from streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, and new entry Facebook.

The news comes in the wake of last week’s announcement that AMC and Lionsgate had reached a new deal with “Mad Men” creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner that will keep him on board as show-runner for seasons 5 and 6. The pact, which is believed to pay him in the neighborhood of $30 million, also includes an option with Lionsgate extending into a possible seventh season.

In an interview with THR last week, Mr. Weiner said the show will end after its seventh season.

“Seven seasons seems like the right length for the life of the show, and I’m very excited knowing that I have that canvas to paint on,” he said.

Season 5 debuts on AMC in March 2012.

Couric to anchor coverage of royal wedding for CBS

Her CBS Evening News contract is about to expire and many speculate she has no intention of renewing it, but anchor Katie Couric will be the face of the channel’s live coverage of the April 29 royal wedding.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Couric will conduct her newscast from London and colleague Erica Hill will co-anchor the “Early Show” from the U.K. as well. Deadline reports that Ms. Couric will lead coverage of the festivities for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big ceremony and anchor an hour-long prime-time special that evening.

This news might catch some people off-guard, as Ms. Couric has spent weeks at the center of the rumor mill and is expected to flee CBS after her contract with the network ends. On top of the gossip, Ms. Couric has had to address low viewership figures. In a New York Times interview published Monday, she implied local news stations might be somewhat at fault for uncompetitive ratings at CBS.

The anchor said, “I believe we were in third place for 13 years before I got here, and I think habits, particularly with an evening news broadcast, move at a glacial pace. And I think that local news stations have something to do with it.”

When pressed for more information, Ms. Couric answered, “Some people have said that local news is really important in terms of lead-ins. I haven’t really analyzed that. I’m just saying what I’ve read or some of the theories about it.”

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