BBC Two Acquires UK Rights To NBC’s ‘Odyssey’

Odyssey (FT)

BBC Two has sealed a deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to NBC’s mid-season drama Odyssey, TVWise has confirmed

Created by Peter Horton, Adam Armus and Kay Foster, Odyssey tells the story of families torn apart when a female Special Ops soldier in North Africa, a corporate lawyer, and a Wall Street activist each uncover the same conspiracy between a U.S. corporation, the government, and terrorism. The drama series is produced by Universal Television and stars Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Daniella Pineda and Treat Williams.

The deal with NBCU for Odyssey, which was first reported by Broadcast, is a rare high-profile acquisition for the BBC, who, despite routinely sending execs to the LA Screenings rarely buy anything out of the yearly event. This marks the first major US drama acquisition for BBC Two since Pan Am in 2011 and is the latest deal between the Beeb and NBCU, who previously pacted together to bring Parks & Recreation to BBC Four.

Odyssey is also an interesting buy as it was one of those dramas that received an OK but not stellar reception from international buyers at the LA Screenings last May. That said, some did draw favourable comparisons to the 2004 mini-series Traffic (an angle NBCU execs were pushing), the style of which inspired the creators of Odyssey.

“Odyssey is an ambitious drama that expertly weaves three compelling storylines into a gripping high-stakes thriller – we are delighted to be bringing it to BBC Two viewers,” said the BBC’s Head of Programme Acquisitions Sue Deeks, who brokered the deal.

The series is expected to premiere on BBC Two later this year, shortly after its premiere on NBC in the US in April.