UKTV has opted not to renew their licensing deal with international distributor Entertainment One (eOne) for Canadian drama series Saving Hope, which aired on their flagship entertainment channel Watch, TVWise has learned exclusively.
Saving Hope picks up shortly after Charlie Harris, the Chief of Surgery of Toronto’s Hope-Zion Hospital, ends up in a coma. The comatose Dr. Harris explores the hospital halls in “spirit” form, not sure if he’s a ghost or a figment of his own imagination while Alex Reid and her fellow doctors press on to save his life and those of their other patients. The drama series stars Erica Durance, Michael Shanks, Daniel Gillies, Huse Madhavji, Julia Taylor-Ross and Kristopher Turner.
UKTV acquired Saving Hope in June 2013 after they agreed a two-season licensing deal with Entertainment One. The show’s first season then launched on Watch in August of that same year, but despite high hopes, the series failed to establish much of an audience, averaging a consolidated audience of less than 100K viewers. The second season then followed on the channel last Summer, but the show once again pulled in soft ratings.
It was that poor ratings performance, especially when stacked up against the relative ratings of Grimm and The Strain, that led UKTV’s execs to decide against picking up the show’s third and fourth seasons. “Saving Hope will not be returning to the channel and we are looking at what exciting new shows might fill that slot”, a representative of UKTV said in a statement.
The ratings failure of Saving Hope has not dampened UKTV’s appetite for such shows, however, as they are still actively seeking a medical procedural that could sit on Watch’s schedule. “We’re particularly looking for things which have a more procedural bent or repeatable bent to them, which obviously lends itself to genres such as medical and crime”, UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay told TVWise ahead of the LA Screenings.
Even with the decision to drop Saving Hope, Watch will not be not hurting for exclusive drama series. The channel’s line-up of exclusive content includes the aforementioned Grimm and The Strain, both of which are returning to Watch later this year for new seasons. Additionally, the channel also recently picked up the ABC drama Secrets & Lies, which premieres on September 9th.