BSkyB has closed deals with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and CBS Studios International to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to Arrow, Elementary, The Following & Vegas. The Following & Vegas will premiere on Sky Atlantic, Arrow will premiere on Sky 1 and Elementary will premiere on Sky Living.
Arrow, which hails from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, is a modern take on the story of the DC comics character Green Arrow. After suffering unimaginable ordeals while marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen returns home with a mysterious agenda and lethal set of new skills. Determined to right the wrongs his father committed while amassing the Queen family fortune, Oliver has sworn to bring justice upon the rich and powerful who have corrupted his city. The cast of Arrow includes Stephen Amell, Jamey Sheridan, Katie Cassidy, Susanna Thompson, Paul Blackthorne, David Ramsey, Colin Donnell and Willa Holland.
Elementary, a modern day take on Sherlock Homes set in New York, follows Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) who, following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson (Lucy Liu). A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. The drama series also stars Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall) as Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson, who knows of Sherlock’s brilliance from previous experience at Scotland Yard and welcomes him as part of the NYPD team.
The Following was created by Kevin Williamson and picks up shortly after notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree, the FBI calls former agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to consult on the case. Having since withdrawn from the public eye, Hardy was responsible for Carroll’s capture nine years ago, after Carroll murdered 14 female students on the Virginia college campus where he taught literature. Produced by Warner Bros. Television, the drama series also stars Natalie Zea, Jeananne Goossen and Shawn Ashmore.
Vegas, which hails from Nicholas Pileggi, Greg Walker and CBS Television Studios, follows Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid), who wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life. Recalling Lamb’s command as a military police officer during World War II, the Mayor appeals to his sense of duty to look into a murder of a casino worker – and so begins Lamb’s clash with Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), a ruthless Chicago gangster who plans to make Vegas his own. Assisting Lamb in keeping law and order are his two deputies: his diplomatic, even-keeled brother Jack (Jason O’Mara) and his charming but impulsive son, Dixon (Taylor Handley). Ambitious Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss), who grew up on the ranch next to the Lambs, also lends a hand in preserving justice.
Speaking of the four new series, Sarah Wright, Controller of Acquisitions for Sky, said: “I’m delighted that we have secured the rights to two of the most talked about shows from the LA screenings this year. Arrow and The Following will boost Sky’s already enviable US programming slate, and combined with our award-winning original programming, will deliver on our promise to bring the best content exclusively to our customers. We are also thrilled to be adding Vegas and Elementary to the Sky portfolio. We are committed to bringing the best of the US to Sky customers which, alongside our investment in original UK content, is truly delivering a world class slate of exclusive programming.”
Stephen Tague, Senior Vice President For Europe at CBS Studios International, commented: “We’re excited to expand our relationship with Sky and make the first new programming announcement in the UK following the L.A. Screenings. Elementary and Vegas were two of the most sought after shows during the Screenings, illustrating the continued strength and quality of CBS programming.”
While Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President of Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, added: “These two highly-anticipated series are sure to become staples of Sky’s programming offerings. We look forward to delivering a one-two-punch with The Following and Arrow to U.K. audiences.”
TVWise’s Acquisitions Scorecard has been updated with this new information.