Leverage is an American television drama series created by John Rogers and Chris Downey and produced by Electric Television which follows a Los Angeles-based team of thieves, computer experts and cons, headed up by former insurance investigator Nate Ford, who use their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices visited on the little person.
The series aired in the USA on TNT from 7 December, 2008 to 25 December, 2012. There are 77 hour-long episodes in five seasons.
Leverage premiered in South Africa on DStv's Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channel on Thursday 26 March 2009, at 20h30. It later aired on SABC1. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 premiered on SONY on Thursday 3 March 2011, at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 16 episodes in the third season.
Leverage follows the adventures of a highly skilled team out to settle scores against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.
The gang is led by former insurance investigator Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), who got involved in the con business after his former employer refused to pay for treatment that could have saved his son's life.
His highly skilled team includes Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a grifter who uses her acting skills to corner her marks; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), a "retrieval specialist" with bone-crunching fighting skills; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team informed; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf), a slightly off-centre thief adept at rappelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places.
By the end of the second season, the Leverage team had scammed a hedge-fund manager who happened to be in the custody of U.S. Marshals; used Eliot's martial arts skills to corner a corrupt fight promoter; and took over a private school to recover millions of dollars lost in a Ponzi scheme.
They also went head-to-head with an almost identical team of grifters to recover a painting, took down an oppressive sweatshop owner, cornered a fake psychic, freed Nate's ex-wife from a Ukrainian jail and thwarted a gunrunning scheme by a corrupt mayor.
But for Sophie, her conflicted relationship with Nate left her questioning if she wanted to continue working with the team. She took some much-needed time away, arranging for a friend and fellow grifter to take her place temporarily.
But even though Sophie has now returned to the team, there are still some unresolved issues between her and Nate.
The third season of Leverage opens with Nate in prison after having to make a tough choice on the most recent con. He could either allow his team to be arrested or simply give himself up to his nemesis Sterling, a former insurance investigator now working for Interpol.
Nate soon discovers, however, that the prison is corrupt. The only way he can bring the crooked officials down is to get his team to help him stage his jailbreak.
But that's only the beginning of Nate's challenges. He must also contend with a shadowy intelligence agent known only as "The Italian," played by actress and model Elisabetta Canalis, who blackmails him into helping bring down a financier.
Between "The Italian" trying to control Nate and Nate trying to hold both his crew and his personal life together, it's looking to be a challenging and twisted summer for the Leverage team.
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 26 Mar 2009 | Finale: 18 Jun 2009 | Thursdays, 20h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 7 Apr 2011 | Finale: 13 June 2011 | Thursdays, 22h00
Season 2 (15 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 18 Mar 2010 | Finale: 24 Jun 2010 | Thursdays, 20h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 13 Aug 2012 | Finale: 19 Nov 2012 | Mondays, 22h00
Season 3 (16 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 3 Mar 2011 | Finale: 16 Jun 2011 | Thursdays, 20h30
Season 4 (18 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 17 May 2012 | Finale: 13 Sep 2012 | Thursdays, 21h25
Season 5 (15 episodes)
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 21 May 2013 | Finale: 27 Aug 2013 | Tuesdays, 20h00