EXCLUSIVE: As we head into the New Year, a number of UK broadcasters are eyeing a number of new acquisitions. Just as we did in the wake of the LA Screenings in May, TVWise presents a rundown of a number of US shows that, according to our sources, will be winging their way to the UK in the not too distant future. Below you will find our latest round of intel on NBC’s Hannibal, TNT’s L.A. Noir, Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome and NBC’s Revolution.
NBC’s upcoming 13 episode series, developed for the network by Bryan Fuller (who was also behind NBC’s failed Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane), is a contemporary take on the characters from Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon novel and as such will revolve around FBI Special Agent Will Graham and his mentor, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The drama series, produced by Gaumont International Television, stars Hugh Dancy as William Graham, Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Alana Bloom and Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Lounds, with Laurence Fishburne appearing in a recurring role. The high profile show has yet to land a UK broadcaster and, from what I hear, the series may wind up on NBCUniversal’s Universal Channel. Despite the series’ dark subject matter, executives at the broadcaster are interested. “We’ve had a lot of success with the films,” one insider told me last week, “it’s being discussed as a possibility, as we evaluate which shows to pick up [for 2013].” There has also been chatter that Channel 5 and BSkyB are interested in the series. That said, I’m told that BSkyB are unlikely to acquire Hannibal from Gaumont given the “similarity to The Following” which Sky Atlantic has on tap for early 2013.
The new series from Frank Darabont – who developed The Walking Dead for AMC before being dropped from the show during it’s second season – was recently picked up to series by TNT with a six episode order. The drama series is set in Los Angeles during the 1940s & 1950s and tells the true story of a decades-long conflict between the Los Angeles Police Department, under the determined leadership of Police Chief William Parker, and ruthless criminal elements led by Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of L.A.’s criminal world. L.A. Noir is produced by TNT originals and stars Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Jeffrey DeMunn (The Walking Dead), Jeremy Strong (The Happening), Neal McDonough (Desperate Housewives), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Ron Rifkin (Alias), Pihla Viitala (Tears of April) and Alexa Davalos (The Mist). At the time that the series was picked up, it was announced that L.A. Noir would be aired worldwide on Turner owned networks (TNT, TCM, TBS etc). Given that, it is perhaps only natural that there is now increasing chatter that the series will land at TCM here in the UK. One of my sources informed me late last week that the channel was eyeing the drama as it fitted with Anthony Lukom’s [Vice-President and Managing Director of Turner Broadcasting System UK & Ireland] desire to find a new cinematic TV series to compliment the channel’s only other first run acquisition Hell On Wheels. “I think it’s safe to say that we are interested in it [L.A. Noir]”, the source told me, “Frank’s unique cinematic style is exactly what Anthony is looking for.”
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
The web series/failed pilot is getting a three pronged release in the US – with episodes being made available on Youtube on a weekly basis, an two hour TV movie presentation set to air on Syfy in early 2013 and an uncut DVD and BD release in February – and I hear that we will see something similar here in the UK. Sources tell me that the TV movie will wind up landing Syfy UK followed by a DVD and BD release. I have been unable to confirm that officially, but from what I hear Syfy UK are interested in the movie and would be looking to air the film shortly after it airs state-side. The channel is also thought to be in talks to acquire the two hour TV movie Red Faction: Origins. For the uninitiated: The pilot for the proposed prequel series takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, gifted fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Full of ambition and hungry for action, Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton). With only 47 days left in his tour of duty, Coker desires an end to battle as much as Adama craves its onset.
Revolution is a one hour action-drama from JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke and revolves around a group of characters struggling to survive in a new world where all technology has ceased to exist. Revolution stars Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Graham Rogers, Tracy Spiradakos and Anna Lise and is produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Revolution is the one show we receive the most emails about from our readers. Especially given that we reported back in August that word coming out of MIPCOM was that a UK deal for the series was imminent. In that previous report, TVWise revealed that Warner Bros. was being courted by several UK broadcasters, but that BSkyB was considered the frontrunner. As I understand the situation, the series is still up for grabs but I’m now being told that the series should be headed for Sky1 and the hope is that a deal will be reached and announced by January. One source at the studio told me “We are confident that we will have a UK sale soon, we’ve had a number of bids on Revolution.” For our readers whom are concerned by the silence on this one: don’t be. The show will see the light of day on this side of the pond. For those who will ask, my sources tell me that other interested broadcasters include Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV.