It’s Official: UKTV Acquires UK Rights To ‘Perception’, ‘Criminal Minds’ Spin-Off & ‘The Protector’

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Earlier this week, TVWise broke the news that UKTV had acquired the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to three new series: TNT’s Perception, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and the short-lived Lifetime series The Protector. The company made that official today by announcing the acquisition of all three series. Under the deal with Disney Media Distribution, UKTV’s Watch channel has acquired both seasons (23 episodes) of TNT’s drama series Perception, and Alibi has acquired the complete series of both Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and The Protector.

Via Press Release:

24 August 2012, London – UKTV and Disney UK & Ireland have inked a content deal which will see three ABC Studios dramas launch on UKTV’s channels. Hit US drama, Perception, will premiere exclusively on UKTV’s flagship entertainment channel Watch later this year. The Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker vehicle Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, a spin off from the hit TV series Criminal Minds and cop procedural, The Protector, have also been exclusively acquired for their UK premiere on crime channel Alibi.

The deal was brokered by UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Alexandra Finlay and Cristina Brun, Senior Sales Manager, Media Distribution, Disney UK & Ireland. Perception (10 x 60”) launched on TNT in the US earlier this year to an impressive five million+ live viewers and it has just been renewed for a second season (13 X 60”) which has also been picked up by UKTV. It stars critically-acclaimed Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) as eccentric neuroscientist and university professor Dr Daniel Pierce.

General Manager for Watch, Steve Hornsey, said: “Perception has all of the ingredients that make it perfect for Watch’s remit of showcasing series that are ‘out of the ordinary’. The channel has enjoyed phenomenal success with series like Dynamo: Magician Impossible and Alcatraz, and new addition Perception will further strengthen the channel’s output, cementing Watch’s position as a major entertainment channel in the UK.”

Created by Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager, Smallville) and Mike Sussman (Star Trek: Enterprise), Perception follows Daniel (McCormack) as he teams up with the FBI to crack difficult cases after being recruited by former student and FBI agent Kate Moretti, played by Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That).

Daniel’s intimate knowledge of how the human mind works gives him an extraordinary ability to read people.  However his eccentric view of the world and awkward tendencies interfere with his everyday life and work.

The agreement with Disney also includes the acquisition of two US crime dramas, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and The Protector, which will exclusively air on UKTV’s crime drama channel Alibi later this year.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (13 x 60”), a spin off from its hugely popular parent series Criminal Minds, stars Academy Award®-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). The drama follows a team of elite agents, within FBI’s Behaviour Analysis Unit, who use unconventional methods of investigation and aggressive tactics to capture the nation’s most nefarious criminals.  The Protector (13 x 60”) centres around Gloria Sheppard played by Ally Walker (Sons of Anarchy), a divorced mother of two who juggles domestic life with her hectic career as a LAPD homicide detective.

UKTV’s Alexandra Finlay commented: “We’re delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with Disney. Perception’s proposition embodies Watch’s channel remit of tackling fascinating subject matters with a different twist, while Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and The Protector extend Alibi’s successful strategy around US drama.”

Dayna Donaldson, Executive Director, Media Distribution, Disney UK & Ireland adds: “We’re looking forward to launching these shows with UKTV, bringing them to UK audiences for the first time. Perception, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and The Protector are full of suspense, intrigue and adrenaline and will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.”

UKTV is currently enjoying its most successful year to date and is the fastest growing commercial broadcaster in the UK. Watch continues to go from strength to strength as the network’s flagship entertainment channel, growing 3% year on year. The channel’s highest rating acquisition to date is Alcatraz which averaged 1.3 million viewers consolidated and peaked at 1.6 million for episode one, while Watch’s highest rated programme Dynamo: Magician Impossible returned this year to an average of 2.1 million viewers for the first episode.