Starz’s newest drama series is crossing the Atlantic.
Virgin Media has closed a deal with Starz Digital – the global digital and on demand licensing arm of the US premium cable network – to acquire the exclusive UK rights to Ash Vs Evil Dead, starring Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless, TVWise has learned.
The first five episodes of Ash Vs Evil Dead are now available to watch via Virgin on-demand service, while new episodes will continue to be made available to Virgin Media TV customers every Tuesday, mere days after they air on Starz in the United States.
Ash Vs Evil Dead follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from “Evil’s” grip. Starz has already ordered a second season.
The series is a sequel to The Evil Dead feature film series and sees Bruce Campbell reprising his role as Ash. Other cast members include Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Ray Santiago (Touch), Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) and Jill Marie Jones (Sleepy Hollow). Ash Vs Evil Dead is produced by Renaissance Pictures, with Sam Raimi, Robe Tapert, Bruce Campbell and Craig DiGregorio serving as executive producers.
This agreement with Starz is a significant one and represents a step change in direction at Virgin, who before now have never pursued first window on a high-profile U.S. scripted drama for their VOD service. “Fans throughout the world have been thirsting for the return of Ash”, said Mara Winokur, Starz’s Senior Vice President of Digital. “Starz is thrilled to partner with Virgin Media and honoured that the truly ‘groovy’ new hit series, Ash vs Evil Dead was selected to kick off its new on demand programming initiative for UK audiences.”
“We are very excited about bringing Ash vs Evil Dead to the UK, exclusively for Virgin Media customers. This long-awaited and much anticipated series marks a step-change in our TV programming strategy and demonstrates the true potential for video on demand”, added David Bouchier, Virgin’s Chief Digital Entertainment Officer. “By investing in original series and bringing more exclusive TV shows to Virgin Media customers, we are unlocking the power of the boxset once again. Ash Vs Evil Dead is just the start for Virgin Media customers.”