Universal Channel Acquires UK Rights To ‘Chicago Med’

Chicago Med (FT)

The latest Chicago Fire spin-off has found a UK home.

Universal Channel has acquired the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to Chicago Med after striking a deal with international distributor NBCUniversal International Distribution, TVWise has learned. The show’s 13 episode first season will premiere on Universal Channel in 2016.

From Dick Wolf and Universal Television, Chicago Med is described as an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors who hold it together. Familiar faces from the Chicago police and fire departments will intertwine as this third team of Chicago heroes hits the ground running.

The drama series is produced by Universal Television and stars Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Nick Gehlfuss, Yaya Dacosta, Colin Donnell, Brian Tee, Rachel DiPillo & Torrey DeVitto. Chicago Med was created by Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, all of whom serve as executive producers alongside Danielle Gelber, Peter Jankowski Joe Chappelle.

Chicago Med is the latest high-profile acquisition for Universal, who for the past year have been targeting more character driven content, rather than strictly chasing procedurals as they did in years past. It will be a key component of Universal’s 2016 slate alongside such returning series as Royal PainsMajor CrimesSleepy HollowBates Motel and the Shonda Rhimes thriller How To Get Away With Murder.

“Led by award-winning, high-calibre talent, both on and off-screen, this series is full of personality, powerful characters, and gripping action.” said Colin McLeod, NBCUniversal International Networks’ Managing Director, UK & Emerging Markets. “With the strength of characters at its heart, Chicago Med is a fantastic addition to our character-driven slate. We’re proud to launch this exciting new title that delivers on Universal Channel’s promise of ‘100% Characters’.”

With this deal, NBC’s Chicago franchise is now split up in the UK amongst three different broadcasters. Sky Living hold the rights to Chicago Fire, 5USA is the exclusive home to Chicago PD, while Universal has a long-running deal for Chicago Med and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the latter of which exists in the same creative universe. The fact that the franchise has been split up in this way on this side of the pond may prove problematic for fans given the sheer number of crossover episodes NBC plans to produce in the years ahead.