UKTV’s Watch Channel Acquires UK Rights To FX’s ‘The Strain’

The Strain (FT)

UKTV has closed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to FX’s newest drama series The Strain for their general entertainment channel Watch.

The Strain follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

The 13 episode cable drama, which will premiere on Watch this Autumn, is based on the series of novels by Chuck Hogan and stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez. The FX Productions produced series was created by Hogan and Guillermo del Toro, both of whom also executive produce alongside Bates Motel‘s Carlton Cuse.

“The opportunity to premiere the work of Guillermo del Toro in the UK was too good to miss”, said Steve North, General Manager of Watch. “It is one of the most anticipated shows of the year and I’m delighted we can bring it to Watch viewers.”

UKTV’s deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution for The Strain comes less than 24 hours after the multi-channel broadcaster acquired the ABC drama Resurrection from Disney. It also extends UKTV’s relationship with Fox, with the two companies having previously pacted together for such series as White Collar, The Glades and more recently Crisis.

On Watch, The Strain and Resurrection join a strong line up of exclusive US scripted imports including NBC’s Crisis and Grimm, The CW’s Beauty and the Beast, FOX’s Almost Human, Syfy’s Being Human, Eric McCormack’s TNT drama Perception and the Canadian drama series Saving Hope. The channel was also previously home to such series as A Gifted ManBelieve and Do No Harm.

“The Strain feels totally fresh in the horror/fantasy genre – forget everything you’ve seen about vampires, as this series will turn it on its head and leave you spinning”, commented Catherine Mackin, UKTV’s Director of Acquisitions. “It has a rich heritage of writing talent combined with stunning visuals and outstanding acting and we can’t wait to bring this exciting and epic series to Watch. We are also delighted to be extending our relationship with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and bringing more quality drama to the UK.”

While Steve Cornish, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution added: “Watch viewers had better prepare themselves for The Strain. Guillermo, Chuck and Carlton have really created a stunning and terrifying piece of television. The show definitely raises the bar for horror and fantasy on TV.”

See Also – UKTV Emerges As Key Player With Hollywood Studios