EXCLUSIVE: As we head into 2017, only a handful of the new scripted comedies and dramas from the current 2016-2017 broadcast season have been snapped up by UK broadcasters.
Said shows include ABC’s Conviction (Sky Living) and Designated Survivor (Netflix UK); CBS’ Michael Weatherly fronted drama Bull (FOX UK), medical drama Pure Genius (Universal Channel), comedy series The Great Indoors (ITV2) and Kevin Can Wait (E4), as well as Star Trek: Discovery (Netflix UK); The CW’s Frequency and Riverdale, both of which went to Netflix UK; Fox’s Lethal Weapon (ITV), The Exorcist (Syfy UK) and 24: Live Another Day (FOX UK); and NBC’s Emerald City (5Star), Timeless (E4) and This Is Us (Channel 4).
That leaves a lot of the 2016-2017 freshman class without UK homes. With the expectation that at least another five new shows from this season will cross the pond, I reached out to my sources on both ends of the acquisitions business and have identified three shows that are close to securing UK deals; with one such agreement being “imminent”, I’m told. Those shows are CBS’ MacGyver reboot, the newest entry in NBC’s Chicago franchise, Chicago Justice; and CBS’ The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight.
Described as a reimagining of the television series of the same name, MacGyver follows a 20-something MacGyver as he creates a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening. The drama series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Lionsgate and stars Lucas Till, George Eads, Sandrine Holt, Justin Hires and Tristin Mays.
Multiple sources are telling TVWise that this one is heading to Sky1, with insiders calling it “the perfect addition” to a slate that also includes Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles and recent Sky Living transplant The Blacklist. Talks with CBS Studios International are said to be at an “advanced stage” and I’m hearing that the deal is expected to close imminently. Representatives of Sky did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Chicago Justice follows the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators as they navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city’s high stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law. The drama series is produced by Universal Television and stars Philip Winchester, Jon Seda, Carl Weathers, Joelle Carter, Monica Barbaro.
Even before the LA Screenings, there was a general assumption that this, the fourth entry in Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise, would have little trouble finding a UK broadcaster. Instead the real question was who, especially as the other three shows are on different channels here in the UK. Channel 5 were said to have explored picking it up given the expected level of cross-over with their existing acquisition Chicago PD, but I’m hearing that Universal Channel is the front-runner to land the show. No word on when the deal will close.
The Good Fight
The Good Fight picks up one year after the events of the final broadcast episode of “The Good Wife.” In the new series, an enormous financial scam has destroyed the reputation of a young lawyer, Maia, while simultaneously wiping out her mentor Diane Lockhart’s savings. Forced out of Lockhart & Lee, they join Lucca Quinn at one of Chicago’s pre-eminent law firms. The drama series is produced by CBS Television Studios and stars Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Delroy Lindo, Erica Tazel, Sarah Steele, Justin Bartha, Paul Guilfoyle and Bernadette Peters.
This is one that a few were curious about, but at the time of the LA Screenings the show had just been commissioned and there was nothing for buyers to screen. Even so, Channel 4, having aired all seven seasons of parent series The Good Wife on More4 were considered a safe bet. But in a sign of their increasing competitiveness in U.S. acquisitions, I’m now hearing that Netflix UK is looking to snap up the show. This would not be the first time the streaming service swooped in, out-bidding a traditional UK broadcaster. This is exactly what happened with another high profile series this season: Star Trek: Discovery.