Universal Channel Takes Linear Rights To USA Network’s ‘Mr. Robot’

Universal Channel (New Logo)Mr. Robot has secured a second UK broadcaster.

Universal Channel has acquired the linear broadcast rights to the USA Network hacker drama in a deal with sister company NBCUniversal International Distribution, TVWise has learned.

The deal does not affect the first window rights to the show, which continue to be held by Amazon Prime Video UK. The ten episode first season of Mr Robot will debut on Universal Channel on Thursday July 21st at 9pm, with a feature-length episode.

With OTT services such as Amazon becoming more aggressive in their pursuit of first window rights to high-end American television series, it has almost become common practice for traditional multi-channel broadcasters to go after the linear rights, following Amazon’s 12 month window of exclusivity. Previously Alibi went down this path with Crossing Lines, as did History UK with Vikings and Starz’s pirate drama Black Sails.

Mr RobotMr Robot joins a strong line-up at Universal which also includes flagship drama Major Crimes, a spin-off of TNT’s long running The Closer; Fox’s supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow; ABC’s Shonda Rhimes series How To Get Away With Murder; Fox’s short-lived Frankenstein drama Second ChanceChicago Fire spin-off Chicago Med and USA Network’s medical procedural Royal Pains.

“Mr. Robot is a huge success, with several outstanding and award-winning performances. It’s a must-see series that we’re pleased to make part of our drama offering on Universal Channel”, said Chrystele Fremaux, NBCUniversal International Networks’ Vice-President of Programming for the UK & Emerging Markets. “Our content is led by strong characters and Mr. Robot has them in spades.”

Mr. Robot follows Elliot, a programmer who suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder and decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them. He wields his skills as a weapon to protect the people that he cares about. Elliot will find himself in the intersection between a cybersecurity firm he works for and the underworld organizations that are recruiting him to bring down corporate America. The drama series is produced by Universal Cable Productions and stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Martin Wallstrom.

Check out the trailer below: