UKTV is adding another exclusive scripted series to Drama’s programming slate.
The commercial network, which is as joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, has closed a deal with Sony Pictures Television to acquire the exclusive UK rights to the Lifetime miniseries The Red Tent for their free-to-air Drama channel, TVWise has learned. The miniseries will premiere in early 2017.
Originally commissioned by U.S. female skewing network Lifetime in 2014, The Red Tent tells the tale of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, who was only referred to in small glimpses in the Old Testament. The miniseries begins with Dinah’s happy childhood spent inside the red tent where only the women of her tribe are allowed to gather and share the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the mini-series features an all star cast which includes Minnie Driver (About a Boy), Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Will Tudor (Game of Thrones) and Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment). The script was written by Elizabeth Chandler and Anne Meredith. The executive producer is Paula Weinstein, while Roger Young the director.
UKTV’s Drama channel has been slowly moving into first run acquisitions over the past year. They started down that path last January, when they took exclusive rights to US syndicated drama The Pinkertons from Zodiak Rights. That series proved to be something of a hit, attracting over 600k viewers for the series premiere, up 238% on the slot average. Following The Pinkertons, Drama also took first window rights to Australian miniseries Deadline Gallipoli.
“The Red Tent is a perfect addition to Drama’s growing slate of shows, featuring an epic story with a fantastic ensemble cast”, said UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay, who brokered the deal with international distributor Sony Pictures Television. “We are delighted to bring this exclusive first-run title to the channel.”
Since it’s launch three years ago Drama has enjoyed exponential growth. It currently ranks as the most successful channel launch in the television industry since the launch of Dave in 2007 and has consistently grown its audience year-on-year. Drama currently commands an audience share of 1.2% and is the second biggest non-PSB channel in the UK, behind only fellow UKTV channel Dave.
“The Red Tent is a thrilling combination of compelling storytelling and standout talent which I’m sure our viewers will love”, added Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama. “In 2016 Drama has grown its share by 37% year-on-year and this acquisition reflects the channel’s ambition to continue to drive growth.”