Acquisitions Roundup: UK Broadcasters Renew Deals For ‘House Of Lies’, ‘Rules Of Engagement’, ‘The Simpsons’ & More

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EXCLUSIVE: BSkyB has renewed its licensing deal with CBS Studios International and picked up the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the second season of House of Lies for its Sky Atlantic channel. My sources also tell me that, as part of a previous deal, the company holds the rights to the 24th season of Fox’s The Simpsons which will air on Sky1. However, I’m told that BSkyB will be renegotiating terms for the series with distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution when the time comes to acquire the show’s 25th season to allow them to offer the show on Sky1+1 and Sky Go. I hear that the second season of House of Lies and the twenty-fourth season of The Simpsons is tentatively scheduled for late Spring/early Summer premieres on their respective channels. Elsewhere at BSkyB, the company has acquired the rights to NBC’s Revolution and the second season of Touch for Sky1; the second season of Smash, the third season of The Borgias and the fifth season of Friday Night Lights for its Sky Atlantic channel; and the third season of Nikita, the eighth season of Supernatural, and the second season of Unforgettable for Sky Living. As part of the deal inked with HBO in 2010, the company’s Sky Atlantic continues to hold the rights to the vast majority of HBO’s library of programming. As such, Sky Atlantic holds the rights to the second season of Veep, the third season of Game of Thrones, the fourth season of Boardwalk Empire, the second season of Enlightened, the third season of Girls, the second season of The Newsroom, the third and fourth seasons of Treme and the netwoks upcoming drama series True Detective. There are, however, a handful of shows not covered by BSkyB’s contract with HBO. Those shows include Family Tree (a co-production with BBC Two) and True Blood and Eastbound & Down, where exclusive first run rights continue to be held by FOX (formerly FX UK).

The recently re-branded FOX has extended its licensing deal with  Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and picked up the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the third season of American Horror Story. As part of an existing deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and CBS Studios International the channel also holds the rights to the sixth season of USA Network’s Burn Notice and the eighth season of Dexter. Owing to Fox International Channel’s global pick up and roll-out of AMC’s The Walking Dead, FOX also holds the rights to the show’s recently announced fourth season. I hear that the sixth season of Burn Notice will premiere this summer and the fourth season of The Walking Dead will air within a week of its US premiere on AMC. When the eighth season of Dexter will premiere on FOX is harder to pin down given the accelerated release on Showtime (where it is set to premiere in June), but I hear that a Winter premiere is most likely. In addition to those shows, FOX has recently picked up the rights to Starz’s Da Vinci’s DemonsAMC’s Low Winter Sun, TNT’s Monday Mornings, TBS’s comedy series Men At Work, the third season of TNT’s sci-fi series Falling Skies, the sixth season of True Blood and the fourth season of Eastbound & Down.

Channel 4, who have been less bullish on acquiring new shows from the current season, has closed a deal with CBS Studios International to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast right to the seventh season of CBS’ comedy series Rules of Engagement for its E4 channel. The company, as part of a previous deal, also hold the rights to the third season of Showtime’s Homeland. I hear that Rules of Engagement is currently scheduled for a summer launch on E4, while Homeland‘s third season is set to air on Channel 4 this autumn, relatively close to its airing on Showtime in the US. In addition to Rules of Engagement and Homeland, Channel 4 has previously closed deals with various distributors to acquire the exclusive first run rights to the second season of Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, the third season of Happy Endings, the second season of Suburgatory, the fifth season of 90210 and the second season of New Girl for E4; and the second season of ABC’s Scandal for More4.

Person of InterestChannel 5 has recently extended its licensing deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and picked up the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the second season of the CBS procedural Person of Interest. As part of exisiting deals, with numerous distributors, the company holds the rights to the thirteenth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the ninth season of CSI: NY and the second season of Once Upon A Time for Channel 5; the first season of TBS’ Wedding Band and the fourth season of FX’s Archer for 5*; and the fourth season of Justified and the second season of The Lying Game for 5USA.

Over at UKTV, the network of 10 channels has been aggressively expanding its portfolio of first run US programming and locking down subsequent season of its top performing shows. To that end, UKTV has recently closed a deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to NBC’s Do No Harm for its Watch channel. In addition to that acquisition, the company has recently closed deals, with various distributors, to picked up the rights to the third season of The Glades, the third season of Body of Proof, the fifth season of Castle, the second season of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the fourth season of Republic of Doyle and the fourth season of Rizzoli & Isles for its Alibi Channel; the second season of Perception for its Watch channel; the second season of Hart of Dixie for Really and the third season of Suits for its Dave channel

Major CrimesUniversal Network International (Syfy UK and Universal Channel) has been rather busy on the acquisitions front of late. Earlier this week TVWise exclusively reported that the company’s Universal Channel had acquired the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to TNT’s Major Crimes from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. That follows on from Syfy UK’s recent acquisition of Defiance from NBCUniversal International Television Distribution. The company has also recently extended its deal with eOne and picked up the rights to the fourth season of Canadian cop drama Rookie Blue and, as part of an existing co-production agreement between Syfy, eOne and Shaw Media, Syfy UK holds the rights to the upcoming fourth season of Haven. I hear that negotiations are ongoing with All3Media to pick up the rights to the third seasons The Almighty Johnsons, while Syfy UK has recently closed a deal to acquire the third season of Lost Girl from Sony Pictures Television. I hear that Defiance is set to premiere on Syfy UK on April 16th, while Major Crimes has now moves up the schedule and is now being targeted for a March launch. In addition to these shows Universal Networks International has previously picked up the rights to the fourth season of Royal Pains for Universal Channel and the second season of Continuum for Syfy UK.

Elsewhere, the BBC recently closed a deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the first two season of NBC’s comedy series Parks and Recreation for BBC Four. I’m still waiting to hear on the fates of Wilfred and Family Guy on BBC Three, but one source tells me that “they’re not going anywhere.” Over at MTV, the broadcaster has extended its licensing deal for scripted series Awkward and picked up the rights to season 3. That follows on from acquiring both seasons of Canadian series The L.A. Complex. The third season of Awkward is set to premiere this summer, while The L.A. Complex is set to launch later this Spring. Finally, over at Comedy Central the broadcaster recently picked up the rights to the second season of NBC’s Whitney, the 90 episode second season of Anger Management, the seventh and final season of 30 Rock and the eighth season of NBC’s The Office. The second season of Whitney and the eighth season of The Office are set to premiere in July, while the final season of 30 Rock will premiere in either late April or early May.