Acquisitions Buzz: ‘The Americans’, ‘Jo’ & ‘Killing Lincoln’

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EXCLUSIVE: With 2013 firmly underway, numerous new US series have yet to land UK broadcasters. Just as we did at the end of 2012 and in the wake of the LA Screenings in May, TVWise presents a rundown of a number of US shows that, according to our sources, will be winging their way to the UK in the not too distant future. Below you will find our latest round of intel/industry rumours on FX’s The Americans, TF1’s Jo, and National Geographic’s Killing Lincoln.

The Americans

The upcoming Cold War drama series which is set to premiere on America’s FX Network on January 30th, The Americans was created by Joe Weisberg and follows the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan, an FBI agent working in counter intelligence. This series – which wowed a lot of buyers at MIPCOM 2012 – has yet to land a UK sale and I have no hard intel to suggest that this will change in the coming weeks. That said, over the past two months I’ve been hearing increasing chatter that the series is being eyed by FX UK (FOX as of January 11th). It is, however, unclear how The Americans would fit in FOX’s UK channel given the broadcasters stated desire to focus less on gritty dramas and more on general entertainment. There has also been some talk that the series may land at Channel 5, but I have been unable to confirm that with any of my sources.


The new police drama series from former Law & Order executive producer/showrunner Rene Balcer, Jo is an english language series set in Paris which revolves around Jo St-Clair, a veteran detective in Paris’ elite Criminal Brigade tackling the city’s most challenging murder cases. The drama series, which is being produced for France’s TF1, stars Jean Reno, Jill Hennessy, Tom Austen, Orla Brady and Heida Reed. The series international distributor Red Arrow International has already pre-sold the series in numerous markets. My sources tell me that FX UK/FOX are interested in the series and it may wind up landing with the broadcaster by the end of the year. The broadcaster isn’t confirming this, however, and as such should be treated as rumour.

Killing Lincoln

National Geographic’s upcoming two-hour TV docu-drama based on the book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, Killing Lincoln has been described as a historical thriller that combines stunning drama with CGI and on-screen narration to tell the true story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln; including the events leading up to and following the event and a deeper exploration of John Wilkes Booth and his reasons for assassinating the president. The two-hour event stars Billy Campbell, Jesse Johnson & Geraldine Hughes and is set to air in the US on the National Geographic Channel in February. My sources tell me that the docu-drama will also be airing on National Geographic’s channels in some 171 countries, with the UK premiere currently slated for later February or early March.