Channel 5 has struck a deal with Entertainment One (eOne) to acquire the broadcast rights to the fourth season of The Walking Dead for their digi-net 5*, TVWise has learned.
Based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows a group of people, led by deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, who are attempting to survive after an outbreak has led to the rise of the undead (known colloquially as walkers). The drama series stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan. David Morrissey and Danai Gurira.
The deal, which was brokered by eOne’s Janice Strangward, marks a reversal of Channel 5’s prior stated plans not to acquire the fourth season of the AMC zombie drama. In announcing that they had picked up the show’s fourth season, Channel 5 said that the decision was a result of “calls from fans for the show to return”.
The show initially aired on the main channel for its first two seasons, before seguing to 5* for season three. The company said that the third season averaged 382k viewers and a 2.1% share – representing an increase on 5*’s slot average – and 1.6 million views on their on-demand service Demand 5.
“We are thrilled that The Walking Dead is returning to 5*”, said Marie-Claire Dunlop, Channel 5 Acquisitions & Channel Manager. “After such a passionate fan response it is evident that the series is a much loved television show for many British viewers and we can’t wait for its return!”
The show’s 16 episode fourth season has previously aired in the UK on FOX. This past season the drama averaged more than 1 million viewers and became FOX UK’s highest ever rated programme. Owing to a global deal struck by parent company Fox International Channels, FOX UK have exclusive first run rights to the series.