EXCLUSIVE: UKTV has just closed a deal with Disney Media Distribution to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the third (and prospective fourth) season of Body of Proof & the fifth (and prospective sixth) season of Castle for its Alibi channel. The fifth season of Castle is set to premiere this March, while the third season of Body of Proof is set to premiere in July.
Both Castle and Body of Proof have been strong performers for the UKTV owned channel with. TVWise first reported last August that UKTV was in talks to pick up the new seasons of both shows, and despite rumours to the contrary, the future of both series on Alibi had never been in any real doubt, especially given their ratings performance on the channel. The fourth season of Castle averaged 366 000 viewers in its Wednesday night 9pm time-slot, up some 65% on the slot average. Body of Proof, which ranks as Alibi’s highest ever rated programme, averaged 577 000 viewers across season 2, up some 450% on the slot average.
Created by Christopher Murphey, Body of Proof follows Dr Megan Hunt and her colleagues as she performs her duties as a member of the Medical Examiner’s office for Philadelphia. The main cast for the first two seasons included Dana Delany, Nicholas Bishop, Jeri Ryan, John Carroll Lynch, Sonja Sohn, Geoffrey Arend, Windell Middlebrooks and Mary Mouser. However, after narrowly avoiding cancellation at the end of season 2, ABC & ABC Studios announced that the series would be revamped for its thirteen episode third season. That revamp saw the departure of regular cast members Nicholas Bishop, John Carroll Lynch and Sonja Sohn. To fill the void left by those characters, Mark Valley and Elyes Gabel joined the series as police detectives, with Valley playing a character named Tommy Sullivan who has a romantic history with Dr Hunt.
Created by Andrew Marlowe, Castle follows best selling author Richard Castle who, under a prior agreement with the NYPD to observe and assist a detective squad, works alongside detective Kate Beckett to solve some of the city’s strangest crimes. The drama series is produced by ABC Studios and stars Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones, Seamus Dever and Penny Johnson Jerald.
Speaking of the deal to pick up the new seasons of both shows, UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay, who brokered the deal with Disney, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with Disney. Castle and Body of Proof have been huge successes both Stateside and in the UK and this deal ensures Alibi remains a must-have channel for all fans of crime drama.”
While Steve Hornsey, General Manager of Alibi, added: “Alibi originally brought Castle and Body of Proof to the UK before other broadcasters and this deal means it will continue to do so. Both series have attracted a huge following on Alibi and this is not only reflected in ratings but in the high number of tweets and Facebook messages we receive daily. It’s great to repay our viewers’ loyalty and passion with the promise of yet more exclusive premium content premiering on Alibi.”
TVWise’s Acquisitions Scorecard has been updated with this new information.