UKTV’s Drama channel is adding a first run US import to its line-up.
The channel has snapped up the exclusive UK broadcast rights to period drama The Pinkertons after agreeing a deal with international distributor Zodiak Rights, TVWise has learned.
The Pinkertons follows The Pinkerton Detective Agency’s founder Allan Pinkerton, his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they investigate a myriad of cases in the 1860s. The series stars Angus Macfadyen (Turn), Martha MacIsaac (1600 Penn) and Jacob Blair (Battlestar Galactica) and will also show how the Pinkerton Agency revolutionised detective work through the use of undercover work and the mug shot.
The period drama, which has previously been described as being in a similar vein to Murdoch Mysteries, hails from Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures and is one of the first major scripted projects to utilise first run syndication as a distribution method in the US in the last decade.
The acquisition is a significant one as it comes at a time when UKTV is looking to broaden the content offerings on Drama during 2015. The channel, which launched in 2013, now reaches an average of 10 million adults per month, with its top rating programme being repeat runs of Inspector George Gently.
While The Pinkertons is Drama’s first exclusive US acquisition, they are expected to add more such series in the months and years ahead, as UKTV attempts to drive the growth of the channel. The strategy is a tried and tested one, with major US series being key to the success of channels such as Alibi, Watch and Dave.
“2014 was a huge success for Drama and it is the right time to broaden the channel’s content line up by premiering brilliant US dramas to our viewers first, ahead of other UK broadcasters”, said Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama. “The Pinkertons will complement the channel’s existing slate of dramas and I’m sure viewers will enjoy this compelling series.”
“The Pinkertons is the perfect fit for the channel as we move forward in looking for brand new and exclusive dramas to broaden the channel’s portfolio of content”, added UKTV’s Acquisitions and Co-Productions Manager Emma Sparks, who brokered the deal with Zodiak. “It is great to be working alongside Zodiak Rights to secure some of their best programmes.”
The 22 episode first season of The Pinkertons will premiere on Drama later this year.