UKTV’s Drama channel has acquired the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to Australian World War I miniseries Deadline Gallipoli after striking a deal with international distributor NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, TVWise has learned.
Deadline Gallipoli tells the story of the World War I campaign from the point of view of war correspondents Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch, who lived through the campaign and bore witness to the extraordinary events that unfolded in 1915. The defiance of these first war correspondents ignited a change in the campaign’s course and whose commitment to the stories of the men turned the war from a strategic failure into a triumph of the human spirit.
The two-part miniseries was commissioned by Australian broadcaster Foxtel, who aired Deadline Gallipoli on their Showcase channel earlier this year. It is produced by the NBCU owned Matchbox Pictures (The Slap) and stars Sam Worthington (Avatar), Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under), Bryan Brown (Old School), Ewen Leslie (The Railway Man), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow), Anna Torv (Fringe), John Bell, James Fraser (Devil’s Playground), Charles Dance (Game Of Thrones) and newcomer Joel Jackson
This is the second first run drama acquisition for UKTV’s Drama channel in the past year. Previously, the channel was exclusively a library channel, but they moved into first run drama earlier this year when the struck a deal with Zodiak Rights for the UK rights to U.S. syndicated drama The Pinkertons, which is presently airing on the channel on Sunday nights at 8pm.
Speaking shortly after the deal for The Pinkertons was announced, UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay told TVWise that the kind of first-run dramas the company was looking to acquire for Drama were pieces with a “nostalgic quality”. “It’s things people are familiar with because they’ve seen it before, or it’s a familiar title, or a familiar character”, she said. “So it’s less about, for example with Alibi having that core procedural remit, than it is about speaking to a particular tone. It’s a little bit softer”.