EXCLUSIVE: Bravo’s flagship scripted drama series Girlfriends Guide To Divorce has lost its UK broadcaster. I’m hearing that Lifetime UK, who originally acquired GG2D in 2015 as part of a wide-ranging deal with NBCUniversal International Distribution that also gave them rights to NBC mini The Slap, has dropped the series.
A+E Networks UK boss Heather Jones previously told TVWise that Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce was the epitome of what they were looking for in a scripted acquisition: a show that is unique, buzzy and designed from the get go to sit alongside the sort of unscripted content that populates Lifetime UK’s schedule.
So what went wrong? My sources are telling me that despite an expensive marketing and PR campaign, which included lead actress Lisa Edelstein and series creator Marti Noxon doing a number of interviews with UK press, GG2D simply failed to draw a strong audience for Lifetime UK. It was on that basis that senior execs at A+E Networks UK opted not to renew their licensing agreement. A representative for the channel confirmed that they have “no plans” to continue airing the show.
With the decision to drop the show, which I’m told was taken “quite some time ago”, Lifetime UK no longer has a single first run scripted drama series. The channel’s only other returning scripted drama UnREAL initially airs in the UK on Amazon Prime Video UK, who became the first run home last year after A+E sold the rights package to the streaming service, with Lifetime UK retaining linear broadcast rights. The second season of UnREAL is set to launch on Lifetime UK next month and the channel also continues to air a wide range of original movies produced for the U.S. Lifetime network.
While Girlfriends Guide To Divorce wont be returning to Lifetime UK, I’m told that this may not be the end of the show here in the UK. NBCUniversal International Distribution, the international distribution division of series producer NBCU, are preparing to once again pitch the show to UK buyers at the LA Screenings later this month. It is not immediately clear if there is any interest amongst the other fifteen or so UK buyers who will be attending the yearly event. The studio will also be shopping their slate of new shows for the 2017-2018 season, which is set to be finalised when the networks make their decisions on series pick ups in the next two weeks.