EXCLUSIVE: Riggs and Murtaugh are returning to the UK. I’ve learned that ITV has secured the UK rights to the second season of Fox’s Lethal Weapon reboot from international distributor Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. The show’s second season is expected to return to the main channel in a prime-time slot in 2018.
Lethal Weapon was a big swing for ITV. It was a very rare U.S. scripted acquisition for the commercial broadcaster’s main channel and came several years after the last such acquisition, FX’s The Americans, was initially dropped by ITV before they reversed course and picked it up for ITV Encore.
Back then, ITV’s Head of Acquired Series Sasha Breslau told me that, following The Americans, finding another U.S. show for the main channel was a key ambition. “It’s a really tough one to buy for because a drama for the main channel needs to be broad and feel warm. It can’t be too American centric, while still being distinctive enough to stand out, and I think that’s really tough”, she said. “I’m hopeful, it’s just I’m well aware of how tough it is and the pressures on anything that we acquire for the main channel”.
The gamble payed off for ITV, however, with Lethal Weapon drawing strong ratings across its 18 episode first season. Lethal Weapon opened to 4.2 million viewers in March 2017 and went on to average a consolidated audience of around 3 million viewers. ITV holds the UK rights to season two out of their prior agreement with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution The commercial broadcaster’s digi-net ITV2 also recently opted not to renew their deal with the Hollywood studio for the Allison Janney and Anna Farris CBS comedy Mom, which is now without a UK broadcaster.